Federal Judge Strikes Down Texas Anti-Choice Law That Critics Warned Endangered Women
After temporarily halting a Texas abortion law that was slated to take effect earlier this year, and which critics warned would endanger women who seek to terminate a pregnancy in the second trimester, a federal judge issued a blow to the state’s notorious anti-choice Republicans on Wednesday and permanently blocked the legislation.
“Lawmakers in Texas have been trying for years to ban abortion by any means necessary. This law is the same underhanded agenda in a different package, and it’s women who get hurt in the process.”
—Cecile Richards, Planned Parenthood
U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel issued a permanent injunction on Senate Bill 8, which sought to ban dilation and evacuation (D&E) procedures after 15 weeks, despite that it’s among the most common types of abortion procedures for women in their second trimester of pregnancy and amid warnings that it would force pregnant women and providers to turn to more costly and risky options. Texas, a hotbed for anti-choice measures, already bars women from having an abortion after 20 weeks.
“Lawmakers in Texas have been trying for years to ban abortion by any means necessary. This law is the same underhanded agenda in a different package, and it’s women who get hurt in the process,” said Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, after the ruling. “We’re grateful today’s decision will safeguard our patients access to safe, legal abortion in Texas and every person’s right to make their own pregnancy decisions.”
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“Facts and the rule of law once again prevailed over an unrelenting and coordinated political agenda against American women’s health and well-being,” said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which had led the legal challenge against the law. “The court’s decision once again makes clear that politicians cannot force their way into private medical decisions that should stay between patients and physicians. Access to vital reproductive health services should not depend on a woman’s zip code.”
“This is a huge win for Texas women and families,” said Amy Hagstrom Miller president and CEO of Whole Woman’s Health, which famously fought the state’s admitting privileges and facilities requirements laws that were struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court last year.
“I knew that after our historic Whole Woman’s Health decision last year, we would have to continue to fight. The pattern of incessant and dangerous attacks on women’s healthcare has not stopped,” Hagstrom Miller added, calling the ruling “just another step in ensuring that all Texans are given the dignity and respect they deserve to make their own healthcare decisions.”
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