The New Orleans-based 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has stayed the lower court decision, essentially confirming state policy that considers abortion as a non-essential procedure during the COVID-19 pandemic .
The appeals court ruling means that most abortions will now be banned in Texas, although it includes an exception for pregnancies close to the 22-week hiatus in the state.
Governor Greg Abbott (R) issued an executive order last month ordering medical providers to cancel non-essential surgeries and procedures to save hospital space and protective equipment for the coronavirus response. The order did not define what procedures were deemed non-essential, but Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) later said he would prosecute providers who continue to perform abortions.
The ban, which includes limited exceptions, including concerns about the mother’s life, is set to expire on April 22.
” [W]When faced with an epidemic threatening society, a state can implement emergency measures that restrict constitutional rights as long as these measures have at least a “real or substantial relationship” to the public health crisis and do not are not “beyond question, an obvious, obvious infringement of the rights guaranteed by the fundamental law”, declared judges Kyle Duncan and Jennifer Walker Elrod, appointed by President TrumpDonald John TrumpSanders says he would not “fall dead” if Trump decided to provide universal health care overnight: Trump officials lay the groundwork for May reopening | Democrats step up talks with Mnuchin on next relief deal | Fauci says death toll could be around 60,000 Hillicon Valley: state officials are pushing for more election funds | Concerns over coronavirus surveillance increase pressure on privacy bill | Senators warn not to use Zoom | Agencies Request FCC To Revoke China Telecom PLUS License and President George W. Bush, respectively, wrote in their decision.
Justice Kyle Dennis, appointed by former President Clinton, was in part dissenting, saying Thursday’s lower court decision should not be overturned.
The providers overturned the circuit court’s decision, saying that the accessibility boost to abortions created unnecessary uncertainty.
“It’s a nightmare inside a nightmare. One day, patients are called back for their procedures, the next day, they are canceled – all at the discretion of Governor Abbott. Abortion is essential because it is time sensitive. He cannot wait for long legal battles or a pandemic to pass. This political game will have a lasting impact on Texans for generations to come, “said Alexis McGill Johnson, acting president of Planned Parenthood.
“Once again, Texas women cannot access abortion – with the important exception of those close to the legal limit, that the fifth circuit will go ahead. The court unjustifiably forces women to wait until the eleventh hour to get essential and urgent health care guaranteed to them by the Constitution, “added Nancy Northup, President and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights .