Women's Medical Center of Northwest Houston v. Bell
Federal Reporter, 3d Series, 2001; 248: 411-423
Court Decision: 248 Federal Reporter, 3d Series 411; 2001 April 13 (date of decision). The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that amendments to the Texas Abortion Facility Reporting and Licensing Act requiring registration based on whether a facility performed 300 or more abortions a year did not violate the equal protection clause, but that other amendments regulating care were impermissibly vague and therefore unconstitutional. The planitiff physicians and medical center brought an action challenging amendments requiring facilities performing more than 300 abortions per yer to be licensed as abortion facilities, and also requiring physicians to care for patients in a manner that enhances patient dignity, to provide care that maintains and enhances patient self-worth and self-esteem, and to provide a standard of care that meets or exceeds the expectations set by the patient. The Fifth Circuit held that the 300 abortion threshold did not violate the equal protection clause because the requirement could conceivably be related to the legitimate government interest in protecting patient health and welfare. The Fifth Circuit also held that amendments regulating abortion providers' standard of care were unconstitutionally vague because they failed to provide physicians with fair warning of what the statute proscribes. [KIE/NAMII]
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