Texas abortion facilities begged a federal judge this week to allow them to start aborting unborn babies again.
Right now, Texas is abortion-free. A Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled Tuesday in favor of a state-wide restriction on non-essential medical procedures, including elective abortions, during the coronavirus pandemic.
The ruling overturned a decision by U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel blocking the state from enforcing the restriction on abortion facilities.
And it is to Yeakel that the abortion industry is turning again.
The Free Beacon reports a group of Texas abortion facilities filed a new motion Wednesday asking Yeakel for a special exception to Gov. Greg Abbott’s order. The temporary order supports hospitals and medical clinics that need additional medical gear and supplies to treat patients with the coronavirus. It also helps prevent further spread of the virus and keeps hospital beds available for those who truly need them.
This week, the abortion groups asked for permission to do drug-induced abortions, arguing that personal protective equipment is not needed for these types of abortions and most women do not suffer complications that require hospitalization. They also asked to be allowed to abort unborn babies nearing the state 20-week abortion limit, the Dallas Morning News reports. These requests are more limited than their initial lawsuit challenging Abbott’s order.
“We believe this is the fastest way to resume full access to abortion in Texas, which is our number one priority,” said Molly Duane, a staff attorney for the Center for Reproductive Rights, in a statement. “The Fifth Circuit suggested there are outstanding factual questions about the impact of this order. During the last two weeks, abortion has been largely unavailable in Texas, and we have seen that the impact on patients is devastating.”
The abortion industry chose to issue a new request to Yeakel, rather than appeal the Fifth Circuit ruling to the conservative-majority U.S. Supreme Court, according to the Beacon. Yeakel has a long history of siding with the abortion industry.
Assuming abortions are pregnant women’s only option, the abortion groups argued that the temporary restriction could cause women to seek abortions in other states where they are not restricted.
Here’s more from the Beacon:
“Some patients unable to obtain a medication abortion are traveling to other states during a pandemic, thus increasing the risk of COVID-19 transmission,” the clinics wrote in court papers.
As to the 22-week cutoff, the providers say data from 2017 indicate approximately 800 abortions were performed after 18 weeks in Texas. As such, they believe dozens of women who otherwise would terminate their pregnancies will be unable to do so under the governor’s order.
“For these patients, the executive order’s month-long duration (even assuming the order is not extended and causes no further delay past its expiration) would result in a complete denial of abortion access, and thus constitutes a ‘plain, palpable invasion’ of that fundamental right,” the clinics’ filing reads.
Earlier this week, 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 have been fighting in court to defend Abbott’s order. While Texas is fighting for patients, abortion businesses have been filing legal challenges to keep profiting from killing babies in abortions.
Abbott recently 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.”
Following the announcement, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton essentially closed down abortion businesses, warning that they are subject to the executive order. 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 Yeakel 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.
Since the Fifth Circuit ruling, all abortion facilities have been closed in Texas. The ruling could save hundreds of unborn babies from abortions.
Meanwhile, pro-life organizations are working hard to support pregnant mothers and their unborn babies. Option Line reported a huge increase in calls recently on its 24-hour pregnancy help hotline. Run by Heartbeat International, the hotline connects mothers to local support services, including pregnancy resource centers that provide free diapers, pregnancy tests, clothes, counseling and other resources to moms and babies.
Embrace Grace, another pro-life outreach, is helping to organize online baby registries, virtual meetings, and other efforts to support pregnant and new moms who choose life. And Abby Johnson recently shared that her new ministry, Love Line, which provides financial and material support to help moms choose life for their babies, recently heard from a Texas mom who decided to keep her baby because of Abbott’s order.
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. Eventually the 5th Circuit overturned the judge’s decision and allowed Texas to ban abortions.
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.
Tennessee: Tennessee Governor Wants Abortion Businesses to Close, Killing Babies is Not “Essential” Medical Care. Reports indicate the order is not being enforced and abortions are continuing.
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.
Alaska: The governor of Alaska added abortions to the list of non-essential medical procedures to be banned but left a big loophole that may allow abortions to continue.
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.