Medication abortions will be allowed in Texas, after a late Monday night ruling from a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has temporarily allowed the procedure, according to The Hill.
The three-judge panel ruled against Texas because the state did not make it clear whether its public health order banning all nonessential surgeries included medication abortions.
In March, Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott signed an order banning most abortions in the state to conserve personal protective equipment (PPE) in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
"[Abortion providers] argue that medication abortions are not covered by [the order] because neither dispensing medication nor ancillary diagnostic elements, such as a physical examination or ultrasound, qualify as 'procedures,'" the judges wrote.
Last week, the same court upheld the state's ban on medication abortions, which involve a woman taking a pill during early pregnancy to cause a miscarriage.
Abortion rights groups argued medication abortions did not require the same PPE used by medical workers treating coronavirus patients. But surgical abortions are still banned in Texas, unless its an emergency or the patient falls under the state's 22-week cutoff.
"While people try and navigate their new realities under a pandemic – job loss, quarantining with abusive partners, or still having to work essential jobs – we need more abortion access, not less. This fight is far from over," Alexis McGill Johnson, acting president and CEO of Planned Parenthood, said in a statement.
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