Left Menu
Development News Edition

Texas loses bid to reinstate ban on second-trimester abortion procedure

The 2-1 majority appellate opinion held that the Republican-enacted legislation, known as Senate Bill 8, "unduly burdens a woman's constitutionally protected right" to terminate her own pregnancy before the fetus is considered viable. The opinion was written by appellate Judge James Dennis, who was appointed to the 5th Circuit by President Bill Clinton, a Democrat.

Reuters | Updated: 14-10-2020 08:01 IST | Created: 14-10-2020 08:01 IST
Texas loses bid to reinstate ban on second-trimester abortion procedure

The state of Texas on Tuesday lost its bid before a U.S. appeals court to reinstate a law that would have effectively banned the most common abortion procedure used by doctors for terminating second-trimester pregnancies. A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans sided with abortion rights activists in affirming a 2017 lower-court decision that struck down the law and temporarily barred its enforcement.

Tuesday's ruling, unless overturned on further appeal, makes the injunction against the abortion restriction permanent. The 2-1 majority appellate opinion held that the Republican-enacted legislation, known as Senate Bill 8, "unduly burdens a woman's constitutionally protected right" to terminate her own pregnancy before the fetus is considered viable.

The opinion was written by appellate Judge James Dennis, who was appointed to the 5th Circuit by President Bill Clinton, a Democrat. It upheld an earlier ruling by U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel of Austin, appointed by Republican President George W. Bush. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, named as a defendant in the lawsuit challenging the abortion measure, said his office was analyzing the 5th Circuit's decision "and evaluating all options for further review."

The measure outlawed the standard abortion method used after 15 weeks of pregnancy - dilation and evacuation, or D&E - unless the physician first performed a separate, additional procedure in the woman's body to bring about the demise of the fetus. That requirement, Dennis wrote, "forces abortion providers to act contrary to their medical judgment and the best interest of their patient" by performing extra procedures that "are dangerous, painful, invasive and potentially experimental."

The Texas law refers to the D&E procedure, involving the use of suction and forceps to bring fetal tissue through the woman's cervix, as a "dismemberment abortion," a non-medical term eschewed by doctors. The law's advocates say its restrictions promote the state's interest in preventing fetal pain, but Dennis in his opinion wrote, "We find little merit in this argument."

As the appellate decision noted, major medical organizations, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Medical Association, have concluded that fetal pain is impossible before 24 weeks of gestation - well beyond the point when abortions are almost never performed. Although D&Es are the safest abortion method after about 15 weeks of pregnancy - roughly two weeks into the second trimester - nearly 90% of all abortions are performed in the first trimester, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights.

Texas, the most populous Republican-dominated state, has been at the forefront of efforts to impose abortion restrictions. Whole Woman's Health, the lead plaintiff challenging the D&E ban, also led a legal fight in 2016 that ended in the U.S. Supreme Court's striking down a Texas abortion law that had shuttered nearly half the state's clinics by imposing strict regulations on doctors and facilities.

Similar D&E abortion bans in other states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana and Oklahoma, have also been struck down by the courts, according to the Center or Reproductive Rights.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Turbulence surrounding tobacco control in Ghana

... ...

Smart healthcare: IoT redefining the way healthcare is delivered

As the world is embracing the new wave of digitalization triggered by the pandemic and the arrival of 5G, the adoption of IoT devices will further boom. With adoption set to soar, IoT security issues and other challenges cant be ignored any...

Refugee compassion and response: Ideas to mitigate disasters now and in their future

Their homeland becomes a forbidden territory for them and more likely than not, their journey to foreign soil is no less traumatizing, not to say deadly. It is crucial to help refugees live a life of dignity and purpose....

Inadequate water infrastructure causes a tidal wave of coronavirus in rural Alaska

... ...

Videos

Latest News

Pope's new cardinal in Mexico known for indigenous outreach

Among the new cardinals formally installed by Pope Francis on Saturday is an outspoken Mexican cleric who has spent decades ministering to the mostly poor, indigenous communities near the countrys southern border with Guatemala. Felipe Ariz...

Ethiopian military operation in Tigray is complete, prime minister says

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said on Saturday that military operations in the restive region of Tigray are complete and federal troops control the regional capital, a major development in a three-week-old war that has shaken the Horn...

Pope's new cardinal in Mexico known for indigenous outreach

Among the new cardinals formally installed by Pope Francis on Saturday is an outspoken Mexican cleric who has spent decades ministering to the mostly poor, indigenous communities near the countrys southern border with Guatemala. Felipe Ariz...

Rugby-Reshuffled France see off Italy to set up England final

A revamped France beat Italy 36-5 at home on Saturday to top the Autumn Nations Cups Group B and set up a bizarre final with England next weekend. Following an agreement between the federation and the league, coach Fabien Galthie had to mad...

Give Feedback