FED. JUDGE YEAKEL TEMPORARILY BLOCKS TEXAS’ BAN ON ABORTIONS DURING COVID-19

Mar 30, 2020 by

The Honorable Lee Yeakel Intellectual Property American Inn of ...
U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel

3.30.20 – Dallas Morning News

“Federal judge temporarily blocks Texas’ ban on abortions during the coronavirus pandemic”

By Maria Mendez

**COMMENTS FROM DONNA GARNER: Gov. Abbott and Texas Attorney General Paxton were prepared for this day. They knew ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and the other pro-abortionists were going to take action to try to keep the abortions coming even during the COVID-19 crisis.  Abortion clinics make multi-millions of dollars each year. They certainly do not want to lose their money stream even during a crisis when there is a dire need for hospital beds and medical professionals to treat COVID-19 patients.  Most abortions are done in outpatient facilities; however, the hospitals must be prepared to receive women who have had botched abortions and who need emergency care for such problems as perforated uteruses or who are dying of sepsis infections.  

I have confidence in both Gov. Abbott and TAG Paxton that they will prove their strong case in court. To see the type of preparation they and their teams have already done, please scan through these two documents:

Link to Texas Attorney General Paxton’s 43-page legal brief filed on 3.30.20: https://tinyurl.com/rvtjko8

Link to Gov. Abbott’s Executive Order GA -09 on 3.22.20: https://tinyurl.com/s4a6kec

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https://www.dallasnews.com/news/public-health/2020/03/30/federal-judge-blocks-texas-ban-on-abortions-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic

Excerpts from this Dallas Morning News article:

AUSTIN — A federal judge says Texas’ abortion providers can continue performing elective abortions while they fight in court against a state emergency order that would halt most abortions in the state because of the coronavirus.

Siding with abortion providers who filed a lawsuit last week, U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel on Monday afternoon temporarily blocked the state from enforcing its ban on elective abortions while the lawsuit continues.

The lawsuit was filed after Texas sought to halt all abortions not necessary to the health of a woman under an order from Gov. Greg Abbott for all nonessential medical procedures to be postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak. The order is intended to help alleviate the strain on hospitals facing shortages of beds and personal protective equipment.

Even though most abortions do not occur in hospitals, but rather in outpatient facilities, Attorney General Ken Paxton said last week that Abbott’s order applied to any kind of abortion procedure. The order is supposed to be in full force until April 21.

But Yeakel said the abortion providers suing the state would “suffer irreparable harm” if they are not allowed to continue performing abortions during this time period. The harm to the abortion providers outweighs any harm the state could face for not being able to enforce its ban, he said.

By effectively “banning all abortions before viability,” Texas’ emergency order also violates abortion providers’ Fourteenth Amendment rights, making it unconstitutional, he said.

“The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects a woman’s right to choose an abortion,” Yeakel wrote. He added that “before fetal viability outside of the womb, a state has no interest sufficient to justify an outright ban on abortions.”

Paxton, who warned abortion providers that they could face fines of up to $1,000 or 180 days in jail for performing elective abortions under Abbott’s order, filed a brief Monday morning defending the order. In his brief, Paxton argued abortion providers “have no right to special treatment” based on previous court rulings.

“Medical professionals are in dire need of supplies, and abortion providers who refuse to follow state law are demonstrating a clear disregard for Texans suffering from this medical crisis,” he said in a prepared statement. “All Texans must work together to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

…The temporary restraining order is in place until April 13, when Yeakel will hold a hearing via telephone to decide whether to grant abortion providers’ request for an injunction blocking the state’s order for abortions to only be performed under life-threatening circumstances.

Earlier on Monday, the American Civil Liberties Union and national abortion advocates announced they were filing similar lawsuits on behalf of abortion providers in Alabama, Iowa, Ohio and Oklahoma.

The conservative group Texas Values decried the lawsuit.

“As more people continue to die from the Coronavirus, Planned Parenthood chose to make a political statement and take more lives through abortion by suing the Governor and Attorney General who were trying to preserve medical supplies for those most in need,” Mary Elizabeth Castle, a policy adviser for Texas Values, said in a statement.

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