Abortion Activists Sue to Overturn Texas Law Banning Dismemberment Abortions

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Nov 2, 2017   |   12:17PM   |   Austin, TX

Abortion activists are suing Texas again, this time to be allowed to continue aborting unborn babies through a brutal dismemberment technique.

The Texas abortion chain Whole Woman’s Health, Planned Parenthood and other abortion groups are scheduled to begin arguing their case in court Thursday, Dallas News reports.

Signed into law earlier this summer, Texas Senate Bill 8 prohibits dismemberment abortions, a method typically used in the second trimester to kill nearly fully-formed, living unborn babies. It is a barbaric and dangerous procedure in which the unborn baby is ripped apart in the womb and pulled out in pieces while his or her heart is still beating.

Liberal U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel temporarily blocked the state from enforcing the law in late August until the case could go to trial. He also is presiding over the hearing this week.

The abortion industry’s case is based on the claim that the law will outlaw the most common second-trimester abortion procedure (dilation and evacuation or D&E) and put an undue burden on women’s access to abortion.

Texas Right to Life explains more details about the case:

The plaintiffs allege in their filing with the court that the ban “threatens the health of Plaintiff’s patients and their access to abortion care, subjects Plaintiffs to criminal penalties, and violates Plaintiffs’ patients’ constitutional rights.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s team, the leading defendants in the case, has clarified that not all D&E abortions are banned by the measure, but rather those procedures that dismember a living preborn child, defined as “Dismemberment Abortions” in the legislation.  Part of the legal basis for the legislation is the Supreme Court’s 2007 ruling in Gonzales v. Carhart in which the highest court in the United States affirmed that states have a compelling interest in protecting the Life of the preborn child by outlawing particularly gruesome and inhumane procedures.

Yeakel has a history of ruling against life-protecting legislation. However, pro-life leaders said they are not discouraged.

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“We welcome the lawsuit,” Texas RTL’s Melissa Conway said in July. “We believe the state has a right to ban this gruesome procedure. The lawsuit just moves us one step closer to overturning Roe vs. Wade.”

The pro-life organization said if Yeakel rules against the law, the state likely will appeal to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which considers protections for unborn life more fairly.

“Texas Right to Life supports Attorney General Ken Paxton’s efforts to defend the Dismemberment Abortion Ban in the highest court possible to honor Texas’ intent to protect innocent human Life,” the pro-life organization said in a statement.

The legislation received strong support in the Texas legislature this year, and Gov. Greg Abbott signed it into law in June.

The law made Texas the eighth state to protect developing preborn children from such a heinous act. Earlier this year, Arkansas also enacted its Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act joining Alabama, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and West Virginia.

The dismemberment abortion ban embodies model legislation from the National Right to Life Committee that would prohibit “dismemberment abortion,” using forceps, clamps, scissors or similar instruments on a living unborn baby to remove him or her from the womb in pieces while their heart still is beating. Such instruments typically are used in dilation and evacuation (D&E) procedures.