Abortion activists hope to overturn basically every abortion regulation in Texas with a radical new lawsuit.
Filed by Whole Woman’s Health Alliance and other pro-abortion groups, the lawsuit seeks to strike down even common-sense abortion regulations that protect women’s health and safety. These include the licensing of abortion facilities, informed consent and parental consent.
“It’s outrageous that these activists are so dedicated to their radical pro-abortion agenda that they want the courts to repeal laws enacted by the Texas Legislature to protect the health of women getting abortions, such as requiring the sterilization of medical instruments,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement, according to Patch.
On Monday, state attorneys and lawyers for the pro-abortion groups argued before U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel about whether the lawsuit should be dismissed as “frivolous,” KUT News radio reports.
The pro-abortion groups want the court to strike down about 60 abortion laws and regulations in Texas, according to the report. They argue that these regulations unconstitutionally restrict women’s access to abortion, especially low-income and minority women.
“Time and time again, politicians in Texas defy the public’s trust and use their power to advance their extreme anti-abortion agenda from public office — each time it happens, the courts and the people of Texas have to hold them in check,” Whole Woman’s Health leader Amy Hagstrom Miller said.
These so-called “extreme” laws require that abortion facilities be licensed, surgical instruments be sterilized and second-trimester surgical abortions be performed in surgical facilities rather than a doctor’s office. They also ban late-term abortions, require girls under 18 to obtain a parent’s permission and require that women are informed of the risks of and alternatives to abortion.
Paxton said these are common sense regulations that most other states have in place, and the lawsuit is baseless.
“Many of Texas’ common sense abortion regulations have been in place for decades, are similar to laws passed in a majority of the states, and have been upheld as constitutional by the courts,” Paxton said.
After Yeakel heard the case, he said both sides’ arguments confused him, The Texas Tribune reports. The judge did not indicate when he will rule on the case.
“This needs to be something not that the court understands but the public understands,” Yeakel said. “I find this case difficult to understand with the status of the record.”
The Texas abortion industry is hopeful for another victory after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down several Texas abortion clinic regulations in 2016. The abortion groups filed the lawsuit in June.
Whole Woman’s Health, a Texas-based abortion chain notorious for dozens of health and safety violations, is the lead plaintiff in the case.
Its lawsuit argues that dozens of Texas abortion regulations impose “medically unnecessary burdens on patients,” and “have led clinics to be shut down,” according to The Hill.
The pro-abortion groups involved in the lawsuit are Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, the Afiya Center, Fund Texas Choice, the Lilith Fund, the Texas Equal Access Fund and the West Fund.
The radical pro-abortion group NARAL Texas said the lawsuit challenges five categories of laws: abortion clinic regulations or what they call targeted regulation of abortion provider laws; laws that deny patients the “benefits of scientific progress”; restrictions that “shame and punish” mothers seeking to abort their unborn babies; parental involvement laws for underage girls; and laws that punish abortion practitioners for violations.
Last summer, the abortion industry filed two similar lawsuits in Virginia and Indiana.
Olivia Gans Turner, president of the Virginia Society for Human Life, previously said the lawsuits are about protecting the abortion industry, not women.
“Pro-abortion forces are trying to undermine the authority of the legislature’s right to pass important pro-life measures like these,” Gans Turner said. “In the end, this is all about providing cover to abortionists and has nothing to do with protecting women or their unborn children.”
In recent years, the abortion industry has relied heavily on activist judges to strike down pro-life laws passed by voter-elected state legislatures. Pro-abortion President Barack Obama appointed more than 300 judges to benches across the U.S., but pro-life advocates hope that President Donald Trump’s judicial appointees will help reverse the trend and begin to uphold laws that protect every human life.