You wouldn’t know it by the following Washington Post headline and photo, but the ban in Texas on abortions after 20 weeks, signed into law by Governor Rick Perry on July 18, went into effect on October 29…
The 20-week ban was but one part of a powerful package of four anti-abortion provisions infamously filibustered by state Sen. Wendy Davis.
The measure additionally includes a requirement that abortionists have admitting privileges at hospitals within 30 miles from where they slaughter babies, that abortion clinics follow FDA guidelines when administering the medical abortion pill RU486, and that abortion clinics raise their physical standards to those of ambulatory surgical centers. The first three were designated to take effect on October 29; the asc mandate will launch on October 2014.
Although Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards claimed the sum total of the new law would ensure “abortion would be virtually banned in the state of Texas,” abortion backers didn’t sue to block the entire package.
They backed away from what would seem to be the two most consequential components of the law – the 20-week ban and the asc requirement. After all, abortion pushers declared that forcing abortion clinics to come up to code would ensure closure of all but five of 67 abortion providers in Texas.
Instead, abortion proponents targeted the admitting privileges and RU486 mandates. In that regard, they won… temporarily. From NBC News:
U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel decided Monday that the regulations requiring abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital impeded on the rights of physicians to do what they judge is best for their patients and would unreasonably limit a woman’s access to state abortion clinics.
“The admitting-privileges provision of House Bill 2 does not bear a rational relationship to the legitimate right of the state in preserving and promoting fetal life or a woman’s health and, in any event, places a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion of a nonviable fetus and is thus an undue burden to her,” Yeakel wrote in his decision.
Although Yeakel ruled that Texas could regulate how a doctor prescribes an abortion-inducing pill, he said the law did not allow for a doctor to alter treatment taken in order to best safeguard the health of the woman taking it….
He wrote: “The medication abortion provision may not be enforced against any physician who determines, in appropriate medical judgment, to perform the medication-abortion using off-label protocol for the preservation of the life or health of the mother.”
Yes, it is irrational to want an abortionist to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital in case of botches.
More from WashPo:
Yeakel indicated during court proceedings that he believes his decision will be appealed to the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which has recently upheld numerous laws that restrict abortion. He said it could eventually make its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
WashPo was right. Pro-life Attorney General Greg Abbott – who is running against Davis for governor – immediately appealed the decision. From Star-Telegram:
Before filing his appeal, Abbott… said he expected the case to reach the U.S. Supreme Court. Federal judges have issued temporary injunctions against similar laws requiring admitting privileges in Alabama, Kansas, Mississippi and Alabama [sic], but this is the first case to get a final written decision from a district court….
In court papers, Abbott and his legal team argued that… Yeakel overstepped his authority and misapplied the law.
“The district court took that extraordinary step without citing – much less purporting to satisfy – the constitutional standard” for making its decision, the Texas court filing said.
Abbott asked the 5th Circuit to expedite the appeals process, but the soonest the court could consider the case is January.
Despite pro-abort attempts to overlook the victory, preborn babies 20 weeks and older are now safe from annihilation in the state of Texas.