Appeals court upholds Texas law to ban abortion procedure

Aug 18, 2021, 5:54 PM | Updated: Aug 19, 2021, 11:00 pm

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A Texas law outlawing an abortion method commonly used to end second-trimester pregnancies has been upheld by a federal appeals court in New Orleans.

The 2017 law in question has never been enforced. It seeks to prohibit the use of forceps to remove a fetus from the womb without first using an injected drug or a suction procedure to ensure the fetus is dead.

Abortion rights advocates argued that the law, known as SB8 in court records, effectively outlaws what is often the safest method of abortion for women in the second trimester of pregnancy. The procedure is medically known as dilation and evacuation.

They also argued that fetuses cannot feel pain during the gestation period affected by the law.

Texas legislators banned the procedure with a law that describes it as “dismemberment abortion.” Abortion rights supporters argued in court that one alternative provided in the law, using suction to remove a fetus, also results in dismemberment.

A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals blocked enforcement of the law last year. But Texas was granted a re-hearing by the full court, and a majority of the 14 appellate judges who heard arguments in January (three of the court’s 17 active judges were recused) sided with Texas on Wednesday. The opinion, by judges Jennifer Walker Elrod and Don Willett, said “the record shows that doctors can safely perform D&Es and comply with SB8 using methods that are already in widespread use.”

Concurring in the result were judges Priscilla Owen, Edith Jones, Jerry Smith, Catharina Haynes, James Ho, Kurt Engelhardt and Cory Wilson.

Judge James Dennis wrote a dissent, joined by judges Carl Stewart and James Graves. A separate dissent was written by Judge Stephen Higginson, joined by Gregg Costa.

Dennis said the Texas law, “under the guise of regulation, makes it a felony to perform the most common and safe abortion procedure employed during the second trimester.”

The Center for Reproductive Rights is analyzing the decision and considering all legal options, said its president and CEO, Nancy Northup.

“Texas has been hellbent on legislating abortion out of existence, and it is galling that a federal court would uphold a law that so clearly defies decades of Supreme Court precedent,” Northup said. “At a time when the health care needs of Texans are greater than ever, the state should be making abortion more accessible, not less. There is no question that today’s decision will harm those who already face the greatest barriers to health care.”

Texas Right to Life applauded the ruling.

“If the abortion industry appeals today’s decision, the Supreme Court must answer the case’s dynamic legal question: ‘Is a dismemberment abortion inhumane enough to warrant legal prohibition?'” the anti-abortion group’s statement said. “The evident answer to this targeted question directly undermines some of the Supreme Court’s central premises in their abortion jurisprudence, such as the misconception that pre-viability abortions are more ethical than those that occur after viability.”

“Texans celebrate today’s long-awaited victory,” Texas Right to Life Director of Media and Communication Kimberlyn Schwartz said in the release. “Anyone can see the cruelty of dismemberment abortions, ripping a child’s body apart while her heart is still beating. We’re grateful the judges recognized this horror.”

___

This story now includes dropped attribution and quotation marks in the second-to-last paragraph, which is based on a statement by Texas Right to Life.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

A customer holds whale meat purchased from a vending machine at Kyodo Senpaku's unmanned store, Thu...
Associated Press

Japan launches whale meat vending machines to promote sales

YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) — A Japanese whaling operator, after struggling for years to promote its controversial products, has found a new way to cultivate clientele and bolster sales: whale meat vending machines. The Kujira (Whale) Store, an unmanned outlet that recently opened in the port town of Yokohama near Tokyo, houses three machines for whale […]
1 day ago
The Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-06 passes the High Class Racing ORECA LMP2 07 in a turn during a p...
Associated Press

IMSA takes North American sports cars into hybrid era

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The Cadillac growls, while the Porsche and BMW scream. The Acura sounds like an Indy car, and for fun, turn your back to the track and listen carefully as the cars roar around Daytona International Speedway in a new era of IMSA sports car racing. The top prototype class has […]
1 day ago
A new Jeep is delivered to a dealership in Pittsburgh on Monday, Jan. 23, 2023. On Friday, the Comm...
Associated Press

US inflation and consumer spending cooled in December

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge eased further in December, and consumer spending fell — the latest evidence that the Fed’s series of interest rate hikes are slowing the economy. Friday’s report from the Commerce Department showed that prices rose 5% last month from a year earlier, down from a 5.5% year-over-year […]
1 day ago
Mass timber affordable home prototypes are shown at the Port of Portland in Portland, Ore. Friday, ...
Associated Press

Oregon pins hopes on mass timber to boost housing, jobs

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Inside a warehouse at the industrial Port of Portland lies what some believe could be the answer to Oregon’s housing crisis — a prototype of an affordable housing unit made from mass timber. Once mass-produced at the factory being planned at the port, the units ranging from 426 square feet (40 […]
1 day ago
FILE - The seal of the Board of Governors of the United States Federal Reserve System is displayed ...
Associated Press

Wyoming crypto bank’s Federal Reserve application denied

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The Federal Reserve Board has denied a Wyoming cryptocurrency bank’s application for Federal Reserve System membership, officials announced Friday, dealing a setback to the crypto industry’s attempts to build acceptance in mainstream U.S. banking. Many in crypto have been looking to Cheyenne-based Custodia Bank’s more than 2-year-old application as a bellwether […]
1 day ago
In this image provided by the U.S. Air Force, Senior Airmen Andrew Whitener and Tyler Glodgett 341s...
Associated Press

Nuclear strike chief seeks cancer review of launch officers

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top Air Force general in charge of the nation’s air- and ground-launched nuclear missiles has requested an official investigation into the number of officers who are reporting blood cancer diagnoses after serving at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana. The illnesses became publicly known this week after The Associated Press obtained […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Fiesta Bowl Foundation

Celebrate 50 years of Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade magic!

Since its first production in the early 1970s, the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe has been a staple of Valley traditions, bringing family fun and excitement to downtown Phoenix.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
Appeals court upholds Texas law to ban abortion procedure