Federal Judge's Ruling On Abortion Bill Sparks Protests At Houston's Planned Parenthood

Protesters beginning to appear outside of Planned Parenthood. State Rep. Steve Toth, R-Woodlands is second from the right.
About three dozen people staged a protest outside the Planned Parenthood location in south Houston. They spoke out against a judge's ruling that declared part of the new Texas abortion law unconstitutional.

Anti-abortion protesters were kept off Planned Parenthood property during the demonstration outside the building off the Gulf Freeway.

The protesters say they have a problem with Federal Judge Lee Yeakal, who ruled that part of the abortion law passed this summer in Texas is unconstitutional. Abortion providers don't need to have local hospital admitting privileges within 30 miles of their clinics.

Dr. Kathryn Karges is an OBGYN at St Joseph's Hospital.

"I did my residency actually at St Joseph's and Methodist, and we saw more than a few patients who came through, who had had treatments here at this Planned Parenthood, had complications, nobody else took of them, so they ended up on the "no doc" service. So, that's really just not good care for patients. If I have a patient that say a complication occurs, I want to be able to take care of that patient."

Woodlands Republican state Rep. Steve Toth took part in the demonstration.

"This truly is about protecting a woman's ability to be safe and stay safe. If a woman or a man, has to have a podiatry procedure done on their foot, it has to be done in an ambulatory surgical center. Why shouldn't an abortion, which is a multi-billion dollar industry, have to be done in an ambulatory surgical center as well?"

Alejandra Diaz with Planned Parenthood, calls Judge Yeakel's ruling an important victory for Texas women, because it protects access to safe and legal abortion.

"Our top priority is the health of our patients and we will continue to fight for our patients. And we do understand that while this is a victory, we know that this fight is far from over, and we're gonna continue to fight this battle."

Two Planned Parenthood volunteers stood at the parking lot entrance, ready to help clients enter the facility.

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Pat Hernandez

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Pat Hernandez is a general assignments reporter who joined the KUHF news staff in February of 2008...