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Federal court upholds Texas abortion ban


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John Burger - published on 08/19/21

2017 law forbidding a certain type of second-trimester abortion method may now take effect.
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Texas may ban a certain kind of second-trimester abortion, according to a ruling Wednesday from a federal court.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that a lower court had erred in upholding an injunction against Senate Bill 8, a 2017 law that prohibits dilation-and-evacuation abortions. 

A Federal District Court judge earlier ruled that the law “imposes an undue burden on a large fraction of women” because it “amounted to a ban on all D&E abortions.”

Not so, the appeals court said this week. Records show that “doctors can safely perform D&Es and comply with SB8 using methods that are already in widespread use,” said the court.

“Texas has the right to respect the life of unborn children, and it did so when it chose to strictly limit the gruesome procedure of dismemberment abortions,” said Elissa Graves, legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, an organization that filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case. “The 5th Circuit was on solid ground to reverse the lower court’s decision striking down the law, finding that ‘the district court committed numerous, reversible legal and factual errors.’”
Graves said SB 8 forbids causing an unborn child’s death by “corporal dismemberment,” in which the child dies “by bleeding to death as his or her body is torn apart.”

“SB 8 prohibits the use of this grisly and unnecessary method before the death of the unborn child,” Graves said. “The law is both humane and constitutional. As the 5th Circuit rightly found, the abortionists who filed this lawsuit ‘have utterly failed to carry their heavy burden of showing that SB8 imposes an undue burden on a large fraction of women in the relevant circumstances.”

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