Federal judge blocks Texas from enforcing new abortion restrictions


In a 17-page ruling, Yeakel wrote that the law leaves women and their physicians with abortion procedures that are, "more complex, risky, expensive, hard for many women to arrange, and often involve multi-day visits to physicians, and overnight hospital stays".

The hearing was attended by leaders with Texas Right to Life, who explained: "The abortion industry disingenuously argued in court that the Dismemberment Abortion Ban raises an undue burden to women seeking second trimester abortions by banning all D&E abortions". "The State's interest notwithstanding, this court finds no authority for holding that government-mandated medically unnecessary, untested, or a more invasive procedure, or a more complicated and risky procedure with no proven medical benefits over the safe and commonly used banned procedure, is a permissible means of regulating previability abortions".

Texas Right to Life adds, nevertheless, that the ruling is "the first step in a longer and consequential legal battle over this dynamic and historic legislation".

In a disappointing but not wholly unexpected ruling, a liberal Texas judge blocked a law Thursday that would protect unborn babies from dismemberment abortions.

In the case against SB 8, Texas abortion providers, including lead plaintiff Whole Woman's Health, are specifically challenging the portion of the law that bans D&E procedures.

According to the provider's complaint, a significant number of women in Texas seek abortions between 14 and 22 weeks into their pregnancy, for a variety of personal and medical reasons.

"The Texas Attorney General will continue to defend our state's legal right to protect the basic human rights and dignity of the unborn", Rylander said.

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The judge has scheduled a September 14 hearing to consider whether to extend the order against implementing the law. "SB 8 is created to do one thing: stop the brutal and gruesome procedure of living dismemberment abortions", he told the court.

"Judge Yeakel's granting of the TRO today is expected given his past of ruling against Pro-Life legislation", the group continued.

Dismemberment bans in Alabama, Kansas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma have been struck down by liberal judges on federal courts.

The Texas law defined dismemberment abortions as extracting "the unborn child one piece at a time from the uterus through the use of clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors, or a similar instrument that ... slices, crushes, or grasps ... a piece of the unborn child's body to cut or rip the piece from the body".

During a hearing before Yeakel on Tuesday, Darren McCarty, a lawyer for Paxton, denied that the regulation would ban dilation and evacuation abortions, arguing that the law merely requires doctors to ensure "fetal demise" before beginning the procedure.

The law made Texas the eighth state to protect developing preborn children from such a heinous act.

The law restricts the use of dilation and evacuation abortions - when a physician uses medical equipment to remove fetal tissue - on living fetuses.