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Planned Parenthood Fights Texas for the Right to Put Women’s Health at Risk

by Dave Andrusko | Austin, TX | LifeNews.com | 10/23/13 5:59 PM

State

As this is being written, attorneys for the state of Texas and pro-abortion litigants are scheduled to be providing final arguments on a request by the Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood, and the American Civil Liberties Union for a preliminary injunction against two provisions of Texas multi-pronged HB 2 that are scheduled to take effect October 29.

At issue in “Planned Parenthood v. Abbott “(the Texas Attorney General, Greg Abbott) is the requirement that the abortionist administer chemical abortifacients in person, rather than via videoconferencing where he is never in the same room with the mother; and the requirement that the abortionist has admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles.

Judge Lee Yeakel, “facing a large pile of exhibits and affidavits, adjourned the trial early Tuesday to give lawyers for abortion providers and the state attorney general’s office time to hone their arguments on the legality of House Bill 2,” reported Chuck Lindell of the American-Statesman. Yeakel concluded the second day of testimony “by asking the lawyers to focus in their final arguments on the state’s new statute and tell him, ‘why it lives or dies under the law that exists at this time,’” according to Brittney Martin of the Dallas Morning News.

Knowing the losing side would appeal his decision, Yeakel ordered an expedited trial on the law, saying “that the final decision will be made by the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals or the U.S. Supreme Court.” Yeakel said earlier in the trial, “The issue is whether the challenged legislation falls within “existing constitutional confines or whether it does not.”

Opponents of HB2 argued against the “admitting privileges requirement and the restrictions on medical abortions because they violate a woman’s right to an abortion and the doctor’s rights to work and apply the safest standard of care to their patients,” according to the Associated Press. During the first two days representatives of abortion clinics and other supporters testified the requirements would cause them to shut down.

But “Texas Solicitor General Jonathan F. Mitchell disputed those assertions in his opening statement, saying the group had no evidence to support its claims and was wrongly trying to shift the burden of proof to the government,” wrote Andrew Harris & David Montgomery for Bloomberglaw.com.

Texas argues the law protects both women and unborn children.

“The Supreme Court has recognized that the state’s interest in promoting fetal life is present throughout pregnancy,” Mitchell said. “The Constitution allows the state to protect fetal life in this manner, so long as its regulations do not impose an ‘undue burden’ on abortion patients.”

HB 2 was famously filibustered by state Senator (and now gubernatorial candidate) Wendy Davis which only served to delay passage until a third special session was called by pro-life Gov. Rick Perry.

Opponents have not challenged that part of the law which prohibits the killing of unborn children who have reached the developmental milestone of being able to feel pain which substantial medical evidence places at 20 weeks, if not earlier. The Abortion Establishment, in Texas and without, is very cautious about taking on a law that clearly demonstrates that the pain-capable unborn child is a living member of the human family worthy of protection.

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Nor are they challenging the requirement that all abortions be performed in ambulatory surgical centers, noting that this portion of the law does not go into effect until September 2014.

LifeNews.com Note: Dave Andrusko is the editor of National Right to Life News and an author and editor of several books on abortion topics. This post originally appeared in his National Right to Life News Today —- an online column on pro-life issues.