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Blocked: Texas Abortion Law Under Two-Week Restraining Order

Blocked: Texas Abortion Law Under Two-Week Restraining Order

State capitol building in Austin, Texas. (Czuber/Dreamstime)

By    |   Friday, 01 September 2017 09:21 AM

A federal judge has temporarily blocked a Texas abortion law that could restrict a commonly used second-trimester abortion procedure.

The restriction was scheduled to take effect on Friday however, U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel granted a two-week restraining order on Thursday after opponents showed a "substantial likelihood of success," The New York Times reported.

A hearing is set for Sept. 14 to determine whether to continue an injunction while the case proceeds.

The new legislation requires doctors to first stop the fetus’s heart, either by severing the umbilical cord or injecting chemicals, before performing the abortion procedure known as dilation and evacuation (D&E).

The restriction was part of Senate Bill 8 signed by Gov. Greg Abbot in May in response to a U.S Supreme Court ruling last year that struck down a 2013 Texas law, NBC News noted.

According to a 17-page ruling, proponents of the new legislation argued that procedures causing fetal demise before performing the D&E did not pose any significant health risks to women and would lead to a "humane termination."

However, opponents said the available options resulting in fetal demise prior to procedure carried no medical benefit to the patient but could pose unknown risks.

Furthermore, "causing fetal demise by the State's suggestion of injections of either digoxin or potassium chloride, neither of which is labeled for that purpose, would violate Texas law prohibiting off-label prescription of an abortion-inducing drug."

Yekal said the court found "no authority for holding that government-mandated medically unnecessary, untested, or a more invasive procedure, or a more complicated and risky procedure with no proven medical benefits over the safe and commonly used banned procedure, is a permissible means of regulating previability abortions."

Janet Crepps, a senior counsel at the Center for Reproductive Rights, which is representing Texas abortion providers alongside lawyers from Planned Parenthood, told The New York Times that the case could eventually appear before the United States Supreme Court.

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A federal judge has temporarily blocked a Texas abortion law that could restrict a commonly used second-trimester abortion procedure.
blocked, texas, abortion, law
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2017-21-01
Friday, 01 September 2017 09:21 AM
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