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Federal Court Effectively Shuts Down 13 Texas Abortion Clinics

A federal court upheld a Texas law Tuesday that could shut down more than half of the state’s abortion clinics, leaving just eight standing.

The 2013 law requires all Texas abortion clinics to meet the same building, equipment and staffing standards as hospital-style surgical centers, and it requires doctors who perform abortions to gain admitting privileges to a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic.

Owners of some of the 13 abortion clinics the law could force to shut down, as well as other abortion activists, sued Texas over the law, saying it will prevent women from exercising their “right” to end the life of an unborn child. (RELATED: These Four Republicans Voted Against A 20 Week Abortion Ban)

But the court sided with Texas, which argued the law will improve patient safety. “Texas’ stated purpose for enacting H.B. 2 was to provide the highest quality of care to women seeking abortions and to protect the health and welfare of women seeking abortions,” the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling read. “There is no question that this is a legitimate purpose that supports regulating physicians and the facilities in which they perform abortions.” (RELATED: Unabashedly Pro-Life Center Opens 10 Feet From Abortion Clinic)

A district court struck down the law in August, but following the new appeals court ruling, the building requirements portion of the law will take effect in 22 days, as planned. The Center for Reproductive Rights, which is one of the parties suing Texas, said Tuesday they will take their case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Not since before Roe v. Wade has a law or court decision had the potential to devastate access to reproductive health care on such a sweeping scale,” the group’s CEO, Nancy Northup, said in a statement following the ruling. (RELATED: DNC Head: Abortion Should Have Zero Restrictions ‘Period.’)

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