Judge notes travel Texans face with abortion clinic laws


AUSTIN — New abortion restrictions that would cause many Texas women to drive hours to end unwanted pregnancies left a federal judge Wednesday signaling unease.

“I have a problem believing it is reasonable for anyone to travel 150 miles for medical care when they could get the medical care closer,” U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel said.

He made the comment during closing arguments in an Austin trial of a challenge to a major piece of a sweeping anti-abortion bill signed by Republican Gov. Rick Perry last year. If the law requiring abortion facilities to meet the same standards as hospital-like surgical centers is upheld and goes into effect Sept. 1, abortions will be banned at more than a dozen clinics currently available to Texas women.



Yeakel’s questions provided some insight into what his ruling in the case could determine. But he could be limited by a decision made by a three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in March that ruled that traveling 150 miles to a facility was not an “undue burden.”

“I’m bound by the 5th Circuit, but I may disagree with them,” Yeakel said.



“I have a problem believing it is reasonable for anyone to travel 150 miles for medical care when they could get the medical care closer,” U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel said.

“medical care”? Seriously?

At the Kermit Gosnell baby-murder mill in Philadelphia, Karnamaya Mongar died in part due to the inability of paramedics to negotiate the halls. According to the Grand Jury report, “[T]here might have been some slim hope of reviving Mrs. Mongar. The paramedics were able to generate a weak pulse. But, because of the cluttered hallways and the padlocked emergency door, it took them over twenty minutes just to find a way to get her out of the building.”

She wasn’t the only one. When Gosnell’s clinic was raided three months later, ambulances were summoned to pick up the waiting patients, but emergency personnel discovered they could not maneuver stretchers through the building’s narrow hallways to reach the patients. Clinics must have doors, elevators, and other passages adequate to allow stretcher-borne patients to be carried to a street-level exit. Gosnell’s clinic, with its narrow, twisted passageways, could not accommodate a stretcher at all.

Abortion is not health care. Neither is Douglas Karpen’s twisting the heads off newborn babies in Houston.

The only reason anyone would be travelling 150 miles for a surgical procedure instead of getting that procedure done closer is because there is no facility closer that meets surgical facility standards.

Currently in many states, a physician may teleconference with a patient and remotely open a drawer that contains abortion drugs in a clinic in another state. This is done because abortionists are not readily available in every location.

Some abortionists that don’t do regular Ob/Gyn work do not have admitting privileges at any hospital and therefore cannot manage the complications of their own procedures.

Abortion clinics are currently not regulated by the same organizations that regularly audit and inspect hospitals and surgical centers (Joint Commissions inspects hospitals regularly, and they are VERY picky). See jointcommission.org/about_us/about_the_joint_commission_main.aspx. And you can see from this story, that Joint Commissions does not inspect abortion facilities: ncregister.com/daily-news/gosnell-trial-highlights-media-and-regulatory-failure-to-react-to-abortion/.

What happens when no one regulates abortion clinics? Gosnell (Philadelphia) and Karpen (Houston) are Exhibits A and B.


A lot of people seem to confuse ending a baby’s life with going to a GP for a check up. A 2 and a half hour to 4 hour drive is fine if someone really feels the need to get an abortion. It would be a rare thing so there’s no need to have one around every corner. I drive longer to go to a cousin’s house every few months(which should be way more often than a woman getting an abortion).




Why don’t modern US hospitals, other than religious ones with objections, already provide this procedure as part of their ongoing services ?

Or do they and the cost is so high that people opt for the lower cost clinics. ?


How @%^$%*# sad for them, they’ll have to travel to another state to murder their children. God forbid they have to undergo this horrendous assault on their time and person. We might as well just kill them now for all the discomfort this will cause them…

</angry sarcasm>

… I can’t believe these people actually call this … stuff… healthcare. I don’t think there’s ever been a more disgusting case of Orwellian doublespeak


Great response.


I am at a loss to understand how having a constitutional right to an abortion leads to having a constitutional right to have an abortion clinic within easy driving distance. Are there any other constitutional rights there a distance dependent? For example I have a right to keep and bear arms-does that mean that there’s not a gunshop within easy driving distance my rights have been violated? I have freedom of religion-does that mean my rights have been violated if a Church for the denomination of my choice is not within easy driving distance?


Hey now, don’t go adding logic to the equation. We’re discussing liberal ideology, logic has no place here and you know that! You should be ashamed of yourself.

Using logic and reason, the nerve of some people. >_>


Good point. Honestly off the top of my head I would have no idea where to get a gun in the Boston area (if I ever wanted one). I do know where to get an abortion though.


The judge seems to be missing the obvious. The law is not preventing the abortion facilities from staying open. The owners have chosen to go out of business rather than upgrade their facilities to meet the same guidelines other facilities have to.


I wonder if he would carry it to its logical conclusion. That isn’t there was an abortion clinic within easy as driving distance it with the responsibility of the government to open one?


“I have a problem believing it is reasonable for anyone to travel 150 miles for medical care when they could get the medical care closer,” U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel said."

Yeah, it’s much more important that the woman not have a long drive than that she survive the procedure and not be seriously injured. After all, we know that the baby isn’t going to survive it. I guess people’s lives aren’t that important. Or maybe it’s just women’s and babies’ lives that aren’t important.

Sheesh. :mad:



Thank you - you saved me from typing out the exact same thing…

What kind of idiots think that driving 150 miles is too far to go to kill a baby? :mad:


The same kind of idiots who think it’s okay to kill the baby in the first place; people who have become so detached from reality as to believe that life isn’t life, and that the real problem is that someone might become uncomfortable, or be burdened in any way whatsoever. Their worst fear is that someone might point out that they should put someone or something else ahead of their own desires. Perish the thought! :whacky:


From the Grand Jury report from the Kermit Gosnell case

The Health Care Facilities Act defines an Ambulatory Surgical Facility as:

A facility or portion thereof not located upon the premises of a hospital which provides specialty or multispecialty outpatient surgical treatment. Ambulatory surgical facility does not include individual or group practice offices of private physicians or dentists, unless such offices have a distinct part used solely for outpatient surgical treatment on a regular and organized basis. For the purposes of this provision, outpatient surgical treatment means surgical treatment to patients who do not require hospitalization, but who require constant medical supervision following the surgical procedure performed.

This is precisely what Gosnell’s clinic was – a facility that provided specialty outpatient surgical treatment. And, by definition, so are all freestanding abortion clinics (those not associated with hospitals). The regulations that DOH wrote pursuant to the Abortion Control Act (18 Pa. C.S. §3201 et seq.) are entitled “Regulations for Ambulatory Gynecological Surgery” (28 Pa. Code 29.1, et seq.). Section 29.33(13)
expressly requires:

Each patient shall be supervised constantly while recovering from surgery or anesthesia, until she is released from recovery by a registered nurse or a licensed practical nurse under the direction of a registered nurse or a physician. The nurse shall evaluate the condition of the patient and enter a report of the evaluation and orders in the medical record of the patient.

The plain language of the Health Care Facilities Act mandates that abortion clinics should be regulated, licensed, and monitored as Ambulatory Surgical Facilities. DOH licenses many types of facilities as ASFs, including endoscopy centers, where colonoscopies are performed; offices where plastic surgery procedures such as liposuction, facelifts, and breast augmentation are performed; and eye surgery centers.

Pages 158 and 159: phila.gov/districtattorney/pdfs/grandjurywomensmedical.pdf

Page 129:

Mrs. Mongar’s slim chances of survival were seriously hampered because it was exceedingly difficult for responders to get her to the waiting ambulance. The emergency exit was locked. Gosnell sent Ashley to the front desk to look for the key, but she could not find it. Ashley told us that a firefighter needed to cut the lock, but “It took him awhile … because the locks is old.” She testified that it took “twenty minutes, probably trying to get the locks unlocked.” Mrs. Gurung and her mother-in-law ran outside, crying. Mr. Ghalley and Mrs. Gurung, frightened, watched the firefighters struggling to get the door open, while Karnamaya Mongar lay motionless. After cutting the locks, responders had to waste precious more minutes trying to maneuver through the narrow cramped hallways that could not accommodate a stretcher.

Page 249:

There is no justification for denying abortion patients the protections available to every other patient of an ambulatory surgical facility, and no reason to exempt abortion clinics from meeting these standards.


What amazes me is that the people who agree with that statement are the ones who are portrayed as hating women.

:confused: :confused: :confused:





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