Photo credit: wp paarz via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

Federal Judge Strikes Down Texas Ban on Dismemberment Abortion Procedure


Pro-abortion groups everywhere rejoiced on Wednesday when a federal district judge struck down Texas’ ban on dilation and evacuation, an abortion procedure that takes place in the second trimester.

This ban was scheduled to go into effect on September 1st after Texas’ Republican Governor Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 8 into law earlier in the year. However, the Center for Reproductive Rights and Planned Parenthood filed a suit in July against the ban, and were able to get a temporary restraining order on the enforcement of the measure.

This restraining order was scheduled to expire on Wednesday evening.

Judge Lee Yeakel made the decision to strike down the ban, stating that it put an undue burden on women in Texas. “The court concludes that requiring a woman to undergo an unwanted, risky, invasive, and experimental procedure in exchange for exercising her right to choose an abortion, substantially burdens that right,” he wrote in his opinion.

Yeakel continued, “The State’s valid interest in promoting respect for the life of the unborn, although legitimate, is not sufficient to justify such a substantial obstacle to the constitutionally protected right of a woman to terminate a pregnancy before fetal viability.”

This ruling was immediately appealed by Attorney General Ken Paxton and will now be heard before the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. In a released statement, Paxton explained that the trial had allowed a case to be built “like no other in exposing the truth about the barbaric practice of dismemberment abortions.”

“We are hopeful the 5th Circuit will respect the will of the Texas Legislature by upholding Texas’ lawful authority to protect the dignity of innocent unborn children as they die,” he concluded.

Dilation and evacuation abortions take place in the second twelve weeks of a pregnancy. Drugs are administered to make the cervix dilate; once dilated, tools are used to dismember the unborn baby. After the baby is dismembered, a vacuum is inserted to remove body parts and other tissue from the uterus.

During an earlier trial on the issue of dismemberment abortions in the state of Texas, a lawyer for the state named Darren McCarty clearly depicted the horrific death a dilation and evacuation abortion presents for the unborn child, reminding the court that the dismemberment takes place while the baby is still alive.

Addressing the court, McCarty asked a simple question: “I would say that the question before this court is quite simple, and it is: Can Texas require that a fully-formed and nearly viable unborn child be accorded a more humane manner of death?”

Photo credit: wp paarz via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

Kelvey Vander Hart

Kelvey Vander Hart is passionate about Jesus, conservatism, fitness, and fantastic coffee; she is also the Associate Editor at Caffeinated Thoughts. She can be followed on Twitter @kovanderhart.

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