Appeals Court reinstates Texas ban on abortion during pandemic
NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana, April 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) ― A federal court has upheld Texas’ ban on most abortions as “non-essential” medical procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yesterday the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed its previous decision that abortion was an essential service in the state of Texas. Last Monday the Fifth Circuit ruled that abortion was permissible in both Texas and Oklahoma and that abortion pills could be given to pregnant women.
Texas Right to Life celebrated the new decision with a tweet reading, “Fantastic News! Fifth Circuit Court just ruled again against the lower court. Now 98.5% of elective abortions are banned in Texas under the COVID response Executive Order.”
This is the latest outcome in a battle between Texas Governor Greg Abbott and the abortion lobby since Abbott published an executive order on March 22 suspending all surgeries and medical procedures that are not “are not immediately medically necessary” in order to preserve hospital services for the ill and protective personal equipment (PPE) for key medical staff.
“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,” Executive Order GA 09 stipulates.
Texas Right to Life reported that Attorney General Ken Paxton clarified that the order applied to elective abortion.
“Believing themselves exempt from all common sense safety standards, the abortion industry quickly filed suit against enforcement of the order in the Federal District Court of Judge Lee Yeakel, a loyal ally of the abortion industry,” Texas Right to Life wrote.
“He has now twice issued temporary restraining orders (TROs) on enforcement of Abbott’s executive order, both of which the Fifth Circuit has since overturned.”
Texas Right to Life also reported that the Fifth Circuit’s three-judge panel ruled that Yeakel’s temporary restraining order “usurped the state’s authority to craft emergency public health measures.”
Unborn babies in Texas do not have a complete respite, however. Children who will be too old to be legally aborted when the order ends may still be aborted during the pandemic. Women whose unborn children will be over 22 weeks old, the usual legal limit on abortion in Texas, by April 22, when the order expires, are still permitted to have them aborted.
Nevertheless, Texas Right to Life declared victory, saying, “Pro-Life Texans can rejoice as preborn children are spared from 98.5% of abortions in the state.”
Abortion businesses have been attempting to ensure PPEs for their employees by requestion donations. In March, Planned Parenthood Los Angeles sent an email to supporters asking for medical supplies. Planned Parenthood Keystone, which operates abortion mills in Eastern and Central Pennsylvania, asked collaborators for donations of “hand sanitizers, home sewn masks, shoe covers, and surgical hats.”