A federal appeals court has issued a ruling giving the state of Texas a huge victory as it works to protect babies from abortion and provide the best help and support it can to medical professionals treating patients with the coronavirus.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned a lower court ruling that stopped Texas officials from banning abortions to help conserve medical resources to combat the coronavirus.
The federal appellate court ruling overturns a judge’s temporary restraining order authorizing Texas abortion clinics to keep killing babies in abortions instead of obeying the governor’s order to halt non-essential medical procedures. Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s order helps support hospitals and medical clinics that need additional medical gear and supplies to treat patients with the coronavirus.
As LifeNews.com reported, a federal judge in Texas with a long history of siding with abortion advocates ruled that Texas abortion centers can defy the governor’s order to stop non-essential medical procedures instead of helping coronavirus patients by conserving medical resources during the pandemic.
But the Fifth Circuit disagreed, saying the abortion ban could continue while the case moves forward. And, today, the three-judge panel threw out the ruling entirely:
The appeals court action allows state officials to continue to enforce the restrictions, which were announced by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican. Under the policy, abortion providers are covered by a state order that required postponement of non-urgent medical procedures as healthcare providers focus on battling COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus.
Texas and other states that previously pursued abortion restrictions have sought to crack down on abortion availability during the pandemic.
Writing for the majority, Judge Kyle Duncan faulted Austin-based District Court Judge Lee Yeakel on several counts, saying he had “usurped the state’s authority to craft emergency health measures.”
Duncan, who was appointed to the bench by Republican President Donald Trump, concluded that the state must prevail “given the extraordinary nature of these errors, the escalating spread of COVID-19 and the state’s critical interest in protecting the public health.”
The Fifth Circuit concluded “[t]hat settled rule allows the state to restrict, for example, one’s right to peaceably assemble, to publicly worship, to travel, and even to leave one’s home. The right to abortion is no exception.”
Attorneys for the state of Texas fought in court to defend Governor Greg Abbott’s order that all non-essential medical procedures, including abortions, stop during the coronavirus pandemic. While Texas is fighting for patients, abortion businesses have filed suit and are fighting to keep profiting from killing babies in abortions.
Abbott issued a new executive order prohibiting all non-essential medical procedures until the middle of April. The order says that, “beginning now and continuing until 11:59 p.m. on April 21, 2020, all licensed health care professionals and all licensed health care facilities shall postpone all surgeries and procedures that are not immediately medically necessary to correct a serious medical condition of, or to preserve the life of, a patient who without immediate performance of the surgery or procedure would be at risk for serious adverse medical consequences or death, as determined by the patient’s physician.”
Then, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton essentially closed down abortion businesses in the state and warned them that they are subject to a new executive order pro-life Governor Greg Abbott issued Sunday to end all non-essential surgical procedures. Since no abortions are essential, abortion centers essentially should close down.
“The truth is abortion, for the most part, is an elective procedure,” Paxton said.
After Judge Yeakel struck down the abortion part of the non-essential order, Paxton said he would appeal the ruling and fight to protect unborn children and coronavirus patients.
“I am deeply disappointed that the court ruled against the health and safety of Texans. My office is seeking prompt appellate review to ensure that medical professionals on the frontlines have the supplies and protective gear they desperately need. We will fight tirelessly against this politically-driven lawsuit to protect the health of Texans suffering from this COVID-19 crisis,” he said.
Before the judge issued his temporary restraining order, at least some Texas abortion businesses had closed temporarily or stopped doing abortions in response. Other abortion centers are waiting to see what the legal options are in response and may be continuing to kill babies in abortions.
In his 9-parge order, U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel says the abortion ban is inconsistent with U.S. Supreme Court precedent. “Regarding a woman’s right to a pre-fetal-viability abortion, the Supreme Court has spoken clearly,” he writes. “There can be no outright ban on such a procedure. This court will not speculate on whether the Supreme Court included a silent ‘except-in-a-national-emergency clause’ in its previous writings on the issue.”
Texas made its best case in court:
In a legal brief, lawyers for Texas told U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel that the abortion ban was part of an extraordinary response to an extraordinary situation.
“The State’s efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 are far-reaching precisely because COVID-19 presents a grave threat to public health,” the lawyers wrote.
“Never in our lifetimes have so many Texans been threatened with severe illness or death due to a pandemic sweeping the globe,” they added.
Abortion advocates provided no reason why killing a baby is somehow an essential medical procedure during a pandemic, but instead argued that Texas officials were exploiting the cronavirus crisis to push a pro-life agenda.
But attorneys for the state of Texas responded:
Lawyers for Texas portrayed the argument differently, telling the judge that the abortion providers are seeking “a special exemption, claiming a right to deplete or endanger precious PPE resources and hospital capacity in the name of providing abortions.”
“They have no right to special treatment,” Paxton’s lawyers argued, citing a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said the law does “not give abortion doctors unfettered choice in the course of their medical practice, nor should it elevate their status above other physicians in the medical community.”
“Government authorities expect a surge of COVID-19 cases in the very near future, and Texas is trying to ensure that we have adequate medical supplies, hospital capacity, and healthcare workers to prevent the system from collapsing,” the state lawyers said.
“This Executive Order will save countless lives by preventing further spread of the disease by unnecessary contact and ensuring the conservation of personal protective equipment and hospital capacity necessary to protect the healthcare professionals who will save Texans from this disease,” they added.
Across the country and around the world, non-essential medical procedures and treatments like cancer treatments, stents to prevent clogged arteries, dental work and joint replacements are being postponed because of state orders like the one in Oklahoma, the AP reports. These are important health care procedures; they save lives and relieve pain, but they are being delayed so that hospitals have more beds, equipment and staff to treat people suffering from the virus.
But the abortion industry thinks it is special and so do its benefactors like Trudeau. It wants its work killing unborn babies elevated above real health care.
Recently, medical groups representing more than 30,000 doctors in America emphasized that abortions are not “essential” or “urgent,” and abortion facilities that continue to operate during the pandemic are being “medically irresponsible.” Common abortion complications include infections, blood clots, hemorrhaging and an incomplete abortion. Abortion risks include future preterm births, breast cancer, suicide, anxiety/depression, and death. And it is not true that abortions are safer than childbirth.
Although the situation is fluid, here are the latest reports from LifeNews.com on the status of abortion and orders to stop non-essential medical services:
States Attempting to Protect Babies From Abortion
Texas: Abortion centers are temporarily closed after Governor Greg Abbott’s order. But Texas abortion businesses have sued the state to reopen. Planned Parenthood has filed a lawsuit as well to do abortions and ignore the order. A federal judge blocked the order and allowed abortion centers to keep killing babies but a federal appeals court reinstated the order.
Ohio: Abortion centers are included in the order to close but they are refusing to close. The health department is now investigating those violations. Meanwhile, a judge has blocked the state’s order banning abortions and later ruled that it’s up to abortion companies if abortions are essential.
Oklahoma: Oklahoma Gov Orders Abortion Businesses to Close, Killing Babies is Not “Essential” Medical Care. The Planned Parenthood abortion business has sued to keep doing abortions.
Indiana: Governor Bans Killing Babies in Abortions to Save Medical Resources to Fight Coronavirus. At least one abortion business is refusing to comply.
Alabama: Alabama stopped abortions under its non-essential order until April 13th but a judge ruled the state can’t infringe on the so-called “right” to abortion. The state is fighting the ruling at the appeals court.
States Not Protecting Babies From Abortion
Kansas: Abortions are allowed in Kansas but a county in Wichita voted to close the late-term abortion clinic there.
New York: New York has issued an order to stop non-essential health services but is not applying it to abortion centers. New York Attorney General: Coronavirus Crisis is No Reason to Stop Killing Babies in Abortions. NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio has threatened to permanently close churches while letting abortion centers stay open.
New Jersey: Shut down non-essential health care but abortion centers are excluded.
Michigan: Governor Whitmer has stopped non-essential medical surgeries but allowed abortion clinics to keep killing babies. Leading pro-life groups have heavily criticized her.
North Carolina: Pro-life groups have called on the governor to stop abortions during the coronavirus crisis.
Washington: Shut down non-essential health care but abortion centers are excluded.
California: Shut down non-essential health care but abortion centers are excluded. But 11 Planned Parenthood abortion centers have voluntarily closed.
Maine: Shut down non-essential health care but abortion centers are excluded.
Massachusetts: Shut down non-essential health care but abortion centers are excluded.
Canada has banned every other non-essential medical procedure except abortion. And Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was exposed spending anti-coronavirus funds on abortions.