A federal judge is now deliberating on a possible delay in the implementation of new abortion restrictions that are set to take effect Oct. 29.
Planned Parenthood is suing the state, claiming the abortion legislation passed into law by the legislature this summer is unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel heard closing arguments Wednesday morning.
"Obviously there's some difficult legal issues, but we feel we have made our case that these requirements are unnecessary and they are really harmful,” said Janet Crepps, a lawyer with the Center for Reproductive Rights.
If the law goes into effect as planned, doctors who perform abortions will be required to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals come next week.
"It's an extensive timeline to get those privileges. We do expect eventually to have those–we hope to–but at this point, what we can say is, as of Tuesday, we will have to discontinue providing those services," Sarah Wheat with Planned Parenthood said of the group's South Austin location.
Plaintiffs claim that provision will cause one-third of the state's abortion clinics to close. Amy Hagstrom, founder of Whole Woman’s Health, added that providers across the state are working together to figure out how they'll serve the women of Texas should the law go into effect Tuesday.
"All of the providers across the state are really collaborating well,” Miller said. “This law did nothing to prevent the need for abortion or address that the same amount of women in the state are going to need a safe abortion care, and they're going to have less places to access it."
Also being challenged is the provision that changes the way abortion-inducing drugs are administered. The provision would require doctors to follow Food and Drug Administration guidelines, rather than using a common method that requires fewer trips to the doctor.
Though attorneys for the state didn't stop to talk to reporters following the hearing, they argued in court that the plaintiffs didn't prove clinics would close.
They also said the state does have an interest in protecting fetal life.
An appeal is expected to be filed in the U.S. District Court regardless of how the judge rules.
Kyleen Wright with Texans for Life said she believes Yeakel will uphold the law.
"We all know we have a pretty strong and conservative Fifth Circuit,” Wright said. “We saw how they ruled on the sonogram law, so we're confident there."
Yeakel said he realizes Oct. 29, the day the provisions are set to take effect, is fast approaching. He is expected to make final ruling sometime before that date.