From UPI: A federal judge on Tuesday temporarily blocked a Texas law banning a second-trimester abortion procedure set to go into affect in September.
Judge Lee Yeakel (appointed by George W. Bush) of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas granted a temporary restraining order delaying enforcement of the law until Sept. 14. His order was in response to a lawsuit brought against the state of Texas by Planned Parenthood, the Center for Reproductive Rights and other women’s health groups.
The law, Senate Bill 8, in part banned the use of second-trimester dilation and evacuation procedures — a widely used method of abortion in which the fetus is removed from the uterus in pieces — unless the fetus is deceased.
In his order, Yeakel described the procedure, sometimes referred to as D&E, as “the most commonly used and safest” second trimester abortion.
Without the use of D&E, that leaves a “woman and her physician with abortion procedures that are more complex, risky, expensive, difficult for many women to arrange, and often involve multi-day visits to physicians, and overnight hospital stays,” Yeakel wrote.
Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas CEO Ken Lambrecht welcomed the ruling, saying it protects patients.
“This ruling means that patients and doctors can together make decisions based on medical science rather than political goals,” Lambrecht said in a statement. “While the Texas Legislature continues to create barriers for women seeking healthcare, including safe, legal abortion, our doors will remain open to Texans seeking healthcare.”
Attorney General Ken Paxton said SB 8 doesn’t ban all second-trimester abortions, just D&E while the fetus is still alive.
“Dismemberment abortions are gruesome and inhumane, which makes it troubling that a district court would block Texas’ lawful authority to protect the life of unborn children from such a barbaric practice,” said Marc Rylander, director of communications for Paxton. “The Texas attorney general will continue to defend our state’s legal right to protect the basic human rights and dignity of the unborn.”