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Houston abortion clinic first in Texas penalized under new law

Feb. 20, 2014 at 3:23 PM

AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Texas health officials have revoked the license of a Houston abortion clinic because its doctor does not have hospital admitting privileges.

The state Department of Health Services also suspended the license of Dr. Theodore M. Herring Jr., the Dallas Morning News reported Wednesday. A Affordable Women's Medical Center and Herring are the first clinic and doctor penalized under the abortion law that passed last year.

The law requiring doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic took effect Nov. 1. A spokeswoman for the health department said the Houston clinic was inspected in December and then closed immediately when a re-inspection last week found it was still in violation of the law.

"We're thrilled that the state is doing its job, and we expect more to come," Kyleen Wright, president of Texans for Life, said.

Sixteen of the 37 abortion clinics in Texas closed down because of the law, the newspaper said. The pro-choice group NARAL said five clinics have since reopened after doctors obtained admitting privileges.

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