Published February 16, 2014
State officials in Texas have shut down a Houston abortion clinic and suspended its director’s medical license for not complying with a new law that says abortion providers must maintain admitting privileges at a local hospital.
The Houston Chronicle reports the Department of State Health Services revoked A Affordable Women’s Medical Center’s license on Friday, representing the first time Texas officials have evoked a new law mandating abortion clinic doctors secure admitting privileges at a hospital not more than 30 miles from their clinic that provides either obstetrical or gynecological services.
The law took effect Nov. 1, 2013.
Meanwhile, the Texas Medical Board reportedly temporarily suspended Dr. Theodore M. Herring, Jr.’s license after nearly 40 years of practicing medicine, pending a hearing.
The Chronicle cited state officials in writing Herring had performed 268 abortions between Nov. 6 and Feb. 7 as A Affordable Women’s Medical Center’s medical director and sole practitioner.
The Associated Press reports eight states have passed laws similar to the one Texas enacted last year requiring an abortion provider maintain admitting privileges at a local hospital, but those laws have only thus far taken effect in Utah, Tennessee and Texas. Judges have blocked similar legislation in Alabama, Kansas, Mississippi and Wisconsin.
Regarding the Texas law, the Chronicle writes the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals is now considering its constitutionality after lifting an injunction in October that allowed the law to take effect throughout the state.
For his part, Herring had, indeed, reportedly submitted a plan to state officials that was ultimately ruled insufficient indicating he expected to obtain the required admitting privileges by Aug. 31.