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Judge Narrows Texas COVID-19 Abortion Ban

Judge Narrows Texas COVID-19 Abortion Ban
(Dreamstime)

Thursday, 09 April 2020 07:16 PM

Some abortions in Texas will be allowed to resume under an Austin judge’s ruling narrowing the scope of a temporary ban enacted by the state to conserve medical resources during the coronavirus epidemic.

The court order lets clinics perform medication abortions that don’t require masks and gloves as well as surgical abortions for women whose pregnancies will be too advanced by the time the governor’s ban expires. The clinics said they’ve had to turn away hundreds of patients since Texas clamped down.

U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel’s latest order risks drawing a second rebuke from the New Orleans-based federal appeals court, which on April 7 blasted him for siding with the clinics in their challenge to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s March 22 directive to preserve hospital beds and personal protective equipment for treating Covid-19 patients. Yeakel said his order expires April 19 unless he extends it.

The appeals panel ruled 2-1 that a governor’s emergency powers during a public-health crisis outweigh any temporary restrictions on a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion. The Texas attorney general has previously said he plans to appeal any setbacks all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court

At least 36 states have jumped into the fight, with a red-state coalition led by Louisiana backing Texas while blue states led by New York back the clinics. Politicians in Ohio, Oklahoma, Iowa, Indiana, Louisiana, Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and Kentucky announced similar coronavirus-focused abortion bans, and women’s health advocates are scurrying to court to challenge them.

State restrictions that have come before federal judges so far have been modified or blocked to allow at least some abortions to continue, with the exception of Texas.

© Copyright 2020 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.


   
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Some abortions in Texas will be allowed to resume under an Austin judge's ruling narrowing the scope of a temporary ban enacted by the state to conserve medical resources during the coronavirus epidemic. The court order lets clinics perform medication abortions that don't...
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2020-16-09
Thursday, 09 April 2020 07:16 PM
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