A Texas judge today issued an opinion striking down two parts of a Texas pro-life law that protects women from dangerous abortions.
The judge blocked part of the law that required its doctors to have the right to admit patients to local hospitals. Texas became one of several states that require abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at local hospitals so women can be treated when they are victimized by botched abortions.
The admitting privileges statute “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. “The court concludes that admitting privileges have no rational relationship to improved patient care.”
Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue and Pro-Life Nation, says such laws are necessary: “If that abortion clinic’s abortionists are so bad that no hospital will have them, then the clinic is just too dangerous to operate.”
Newman continued, “Women deserve better than to be left to fend for themselves in the event of abortion complications while the abortionist flies off to another state leaving others to clean up his mess. Without an abortion clinic preying on women while they are vulnerable, women will have the opportunity to seek legitimate medical services and other community resources readily available to them that will not leave them suffering in an ER without proper continuity of care.”
The judge also ruled that the part of the law that requires abortion businesses to follow FDA protocol, by only dispensing the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug in person, can apply except when the life or health of the mother is in danger — even though abortions routinely put women’s lives and health at risk.
Texas legislated in part because Planned Parenthood’s off-label usage of the drug led to numerous deaths and injuries to women.
Yeakel said the statute did “not fail constitutional review because of the lack of a specific health-of-the-mother exception” but “may not be enforced against any physician who determines, in appropriate medical judgment, to perform a medication-abortion using the off-label protocol for the preservation of the life or health of the mother.”
“Therefore, the court concludes that the medication-abortion provision of House Bill 2 is an undue burden on those women for whom surgical abortion is, in the sound medical opinion of their treating physician, a significant health risk during the period of pregnancy falling 50 to 63 days LMP.”
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.
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.”
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Abortion activists 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. 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.