Texas Women/Leaders File Legal Briefs to Supreme Court Supporting HB 2

Feb 4, 2016

HB2 SCOTUS Press Conference (620-240)Today, Texas Values and Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, author of Texas’ Pro-Life HB 2 law, along with other Texas women and leaders held a joint press conference  announcing their legal amicus briefs submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of HB 2 for the upcoming case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. The monumental case is a challenge by pro-abortion advocates to strike down certain portions of Texas’ HB 2 law, which was passed by the Texas Legislature in 2013 with bi-partisan support of Texas lawmakers. On March 2nd, the Court will hear oral arguments on the decision by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold HB 2’s common sense health and safety standard for abortion clinics. Click here to watch video of the Press Conference.

HB 2 requires that abortion doctors have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital within 30 miles of where the abortion is performed, and that the minimum standards for an abortion facility must be equivalent to the minimum standards for ambulatory surgical centers.

Texas Values has submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court for the case on behalf of Texas Values and 3801 Lancaster Film Project in support of upholding the HB 2 law. The award winning film, 3801 Lancaster: American Tragedy, is a documentary on abortionist Kermit Gosnell whose horrific practices and lack of health and safety standards led to the death, disease, and depression of women and children, born and unborn. The story brought national attention to the issue of health and safety standards of abortion clinics. In fact, the enactment of Texas’ HB 2 law was in response to the tragedy of the crimes against women in Gosnell’s abortion clinic in Pennsylvania .The brief also contains information about other doctors that committed crimes against women that HB 2 intends to prevent, such as Dr. David Benjamin, in New York, who was convicted of second degree murder after he botched an abortion and allowed the patient to bleed to death, while he performed an abortion on a second woman.

The Texas Values amicus brief states in part, “The Kermit Gosnell grand-jury report specifically recommended that States require all abortions to be performed in ambulatory surgical centers… (‘[A]bortion clinics . . . should be explicitly regulated as ambulatory surgical facilities, so that they are inspected annually and held to the same standards as all other out- 3 patient procedure centers.’) The grand jury also found that ‘[t]he abhorrent conditions and practices inside Gosnell’s clinic are directly attributable to the Pennsylvania Health Department’s refusal to treat abortion clinics as ambulatory surgical facilities’…. These and other findings in the grand-jury report provide ample justification for HB2’s provisions.”

“HB2’s requirements are designed to prevent subpar practitioners from offering services in the first place. Hospital committees will not grant admitting privileges to disreputable physicians, and the ASC requirements ensure that clinics are staffed and equipped to deal with the emergency complications that have claimed the lives of abortion patients. It is unacceptable for a State to simply wait until a patient suffers harm and then prosecute the derelict abortion provider after the fact. And it is absurd to argue that the Constitution requires a State to take this wait-and-see approach—rather than take preemptive action to thwart substandard practitioners in a field that has seen its fill of them.” Read the full brief.

The amicus brief also includes the Grand Jury Report from Kermit Gosnell’s case in which he was charged with 39 counts including the 3rd degree Murder of Karnamaya Mongar, 7 counts of Murder of living infants after birth, Abuse of Corpse, Tampering with Evidence, Corruption, Conspiracy, Obstruction, Racketeering, and Solicitation for Murder. He is serving life in prison.

Jonathan Saenz, President of Texas Values stated, “The Gosnell case is overwhelming proof that HB 2’s requirement for common safety standards are critically necessary for women. The film 3801 Lancaster is an eye-opening experience for viewers to see the dangers of not having basic health an d safety standards in abortion clinics. We urge the Supreme Court to look at the outstanding evidence that shows HB 2 should be upheld.  We encourage every Texan and every American to watch this film, and we anticipate the day when atrocities like Gosnell’s clinic will never happen again.”

“It is in the best interest of every Texan to undergo medical procedures in facilities that meet modern standards of safety and care, and it is our obligation as lawmakers to ensure that the safety of every citizen – man, woman, and child – is protected. That’s what HB 2 does. It is a shame that abortion providers would rather pump millions of dollars into lawsuits and political activities than upgrade their facilities to meet best-practice standards that truly focus on women’s health,” Texas State Senator Donna Campbell, M.D.

Texas Values was joined in today’s press conference by Rep. Jodie Laubenberg- Legislative Author of House Bill 2, Jen Brown- Producer of 3801 Lancaster: American Tragedy, Ann Hettinger- Concerned Women for America of Texas, Cindy Asmussen- Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, Cathie Adams- Texas Eagle Forum, and John Seago- Texas Right to Life. Each submitted or joined amicus briefs for the case. Information about Gov. Greg Abbott’s leadership of a bi-partisan joint amicus brief which included 9 other governors and a Congressional amicus brief led by U. S. Sen. Ted Cruz was also released in the press conference.

Other groups that have submitted amicus briefs in favor of upholding HB 2’s health and safety provisions with a total of 34 amicus briefs in support of Texas’ HB 2 law,  including, National Right to Life, the Texas Attorney General’s Office, University  Faculty for Life; and Texas Alliance for Life, Former Abortion Providers; Post-Abortive Women and their Families; National Association of Pro-Life Nurses; and National Association of Catholic Nurses USA, The State of Wisconsin, Conference of Catholic Bishops; Texas Catholic Conference, National Association of Evangelicals; The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod; The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention; and The Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, and The American Center for Law and Justice; the Texas Conservative Coalition; and the Houston Coalition for Life. 

More information about the award-winning film 3801 Lancaster: American Tragedy can be found here: 3801Lancaster.com. The film is scheduled for public screenings on March 23rd in Houston and Dallas.

Texas Values will be at the U.S. Supreme Court on March 2nd for oral arguments on this case.

About Texas Values

Texas Values is a non-profit organization dedicated to standing for faith, family, and freedom in Texas. More information is available at txvalues.org.

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