Judge Reverses His Own Decision Striking Down Virginia Ban on Nurses Doing Abortions

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   May 15, 2019   |   1:14PM   |   Richmond, VA

A federal judge canceled his own ruling Tuesday that would have allowed nurses to abort unborn babies in Virginia.

Earlier this month, U.S. District Court Judge Henry Hudson struck down a state law that requires licensed medical doctors to perform abortions. He argued that the law is “unnecessary” and puts an unconstitutional burden on women’s access to abortion.

In an unusual move, however, Hudson rescinded his ruling Tuesday, the AP reports.

The Virginian-Pilot reports the judge acknowledged that the undue burden claim “is in genuine dispute,” and he needs to hear more evidence before making a final decision.

“On further review, the Court is of the opinion that summary judgment was improvidently awarded,” Hudson wrote in his new decision. “Rather on further consideration, whether the ‘Physicians-Only Law’ presents an undue burden to Virginia women who seek an abortion is a material fact that is genuinely in dispute.”

The Center for Reproductive Rights, which is suing Virginia over the law, said it will present evidence that “medical professionals other than physicians can safely and effectively provide” abortions.

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About 40 states have similar laws that require doctors to do abortions, though the abortion industry is challenging many of them in lawsuits. These laws protect women’s health and safety by requiring that a licensed medical doctor perform the abortion, rather than a nurse practitioner, midwife or other medical worker with less training.

Hudson’s initial decision contradicted U.S. Supreme Court precedent. According to the Virginia Society for Human Life:

Referring to ‘our repeated statements . . . that the performance of abortions may be restricted to physicians,’ the Supreme Court in Mazurek v. Armstrong noted that Roe v. Wade itself said the “State may determine the term ‘physician’ to mean only a physician currently licensed by the State, and may proscribe any abortion by a person who is not a physician as so defined.’” In their unceasing quest to promote no-limits destruction of unborn children regardless of stage of development or ability to feel pain, abortion advocates are more extreme even than the Roe v. Wade decision they claim to defend.

The pro-life group called Hudson’s decision “unexpectedly good news” on Tuesday.

Challenging common sense abortion restrictions is a new tactic of the abortion industry. In April, the Center for Reproductive Rights also successfully challenged a Montana law requiring that only licensed physicians and physicians assistants perform abortions. The state Supreme Court upheld a ruling allowing nurse practitioners and nurse midwives to do abortions in the state.

In Virginia, the Center for Reproductive Rights also is challenging a law that requires women be offered the chance to see an ultrasound of her unborn baby and another that requires a 24-hour waiting period between informed consent and the abortion.

The trial is slated to begin next week.