02 September, 2017
The order, from U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel in Austin stops Texas from banning a second trimester abortion procedure known as dilation and evacuation, which abortion providers say rarely results in complications.
Without the use of D&E, that leaves a "woman and her physician 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", Yeakel wrote.
In addition to banning dilation and evacuation procedures, commonly referred to as D&E procedures, Senate Bill 8 prohibits the donation of fetal tissue from abortions for medical research and requires abortion providers to bury or cremate fetal tissue.
National pro-life leaders also pointed to the gruesomeness of the dismemberment abortion procedure.
While some Pro-Lifers may be tempted to despair at today's ruling, this is the first step in a longer and consequential legal battle over this dynamic and historic legislation. The abortion clinic lawyers are attempting to frame this lawsuit on how SB 8 will affect Texas women and the abortion industry, however the important question before the court is whether this type of procedure is something Texas has the right to prohibit.
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Lawyers for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton went to hearing at Austin's federal courthouse on Tuesday to defend a legislation that would ban dismemberment abortions.
Founded in 1973, Texas Right to Life is the oldest and largest Pro-Life organization in Texas. The U.S. Supreme Court holds that states have an interest in protecting and fostering respect for human life, including unborn life. In the hearing over the temporary restraining order earlier this week, the attorney for the state opened his comments in court clarifying, "SB 8 is created to do one thing: stop the brutal and gruesome procedure of living dismemberment abortions".
The law made Texas the eighth state to protect developing preborn children from such a heinous act.
The new Texas law uses the non-medical term "dismemberment abortion" to describe a procedure in which forceps and other instruments are used to remove the fetus from the womb.
Texas has argued that physicians can still perform D&E procedure, provided that they cause "fetal demise" in utero before starting the evacuating phase of the procedure, and that there are at least "three safe and effective methods of inducing fetal demise". Other states that have implemented the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act were Arkansas, Alabama, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and West Virginia.