Judge Strikes Down Texas' Attempt to Ban Second-trimester Abortion Procedure

AUSTIN — Texas’ latest attempt to restrict abortions was struck down Wednesday, as a federal judge ruled banning a common procedure unconstitutional.U.S. District Court Judge Lee Yeakel wrote in his opinion that the state must prioritize women’s rights over a those of a fetus and that the proposed law would add an unnecessary medical procedure with no known benefit to the woman. The regulations Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law in July would have required doctors to stop the heart of a fetus before removing it in an abortion.“The Act establishes a point of fetal demise at a time before fetal viability,” Yeakel wrote. “In so doing, the Act does not further the health of the woman before the fetus is viable.”Whole Woman’s Health sued over the portion of Senate Bill 8 that bans “dismemberment abortions,” a non-medical term that describes removing a fetus in the second trimester of a pregnancy without first stopping its heart. Medical professionals interpreted “dilation and evacuation” abortions, which are widely considered safe, to fall under the new law’s umbrella.Attorney General Ken Paxton said he will appeal the decision to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and defend Senate Bill 8 to the U.S. Supreme Court, if necessary."During a five-day trial this month in district court, we created a record unlike any other in exposing the horrors of dismemberment abortions. No just society should tolerate the tearing of living human beings to pieces," Paxton said in a written statement. "Through extraordinary evidence and expert witness testimony, we established that Senate Bill 8 is lawful, treats the unborn with dignity and respect, and protects the integrity of the medical profession."  Continue reading...

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