Federal Judge Blocks Provision of Texas Abortion Safety Law

A federal judge has struck down a provision of Texas's new abortion safety law which requires abortionists to have admitting privileges at a local hospital.

LifeSiteNews reported Monday that, in response to a lawsuit brought by Planned Parenthood; the ACLU; and a dozen abortionists, including Drs. Alan Braid, Lamar Robinson, and Pamela Richter; U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel said that abortionists’ inability to admit an injured woman to a local hospital has “no rational relationship to improved patient care.”

Yeakel also amended a section of the state’s new law that put in place new safety regulations for the use of RU-486. The provisions in the law that ban abortion at 20 weeks and require abortion facilities to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical facilities remained in place.

The provision requiring hospital admitting privileges for abortionists was intended to reduce patient abandonment, a situation in which abortionists turn a woman over to a hospital without providing sufficient information about the patient’s condition to the hospital emergency room.

According to LifeSiteNews, Planned Parenthood had been accused of such abandonment in the case of Tonya Reaves, who bled to death following an abortion in Chicago last year. Yeakel, however, ruled that even the Texas law would give no assurance such behavior would be “assuaged.”

In the 26-page opinion, the judge said that the fact that the provision could force abortionists in remote areas out of business “places a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion of a nonviable fetus and is thus an undue burden to her.”

Yeakel also ordered that the provision of the law requiring that the abortifacients RU-486 and misoprostol be administered according to FDA-accepted norms could not be applied to women at the stages of between 50 and 63 days gestation, who are medically unable to have a surgical abortion and whose “life or health” is at risk.

Most medical abortions are not accomplished according to the FDA-approved procedure which, as Yeakel acknowledged, “requires more of a physician’s time” and is “marginally more expensive.”

Attorney General Greg Abbott, who is running for the Republican nomination for governor in 2014, said he will appeal the case to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, but he also indicated he envisions the case going before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Gov. Rick Perry (R) said the ruling “will not stop our ongoing efforts to protect life and ensure the women of our state aren’t exposed to any more of the abortion-mill horror stories that have made headlines recently.”

Perry added that pro-life laws “reflect the will and values of Texans.”

State senator Wendy Davis (D), who recently announced a bid to run for governor, rose to national fame as a champion of late-term abortion. Davis filibustered the bill intended to ensure the health and safety of women obtaining abortions, postponing its passage.

Lila Rose, president of Live Action, said in a statement:

Yet another activist judge, this time in Texas, has unilaterally decided to bar an elected state legislature from enforcing life-saving provisions for women. This contempt for women’s safety among our judiciary has become a devastating trend.

Pro-life organizations and independent concerned citizens have documented ambulance after ambulance shipping injured mothers from abortion facilities to hospitals. This should be proof enough that these doctors are woefully unqualified to mend the horrors they regularly wreak on women. But furthermore, women across the country should ask themselves: “If my doctor can’t earn a hospital’s trust, do I really want him treating me?”

Inspections of abortion facilities regularly yield horrifying results: unsanitary, bloodstained tools, furniture, and surroundings, from California to Virginia to Delaware to Maryland, and on and on. And these are only the incidents we know about. Think of Kermit Gosnell, who went unprosecuted for over a decade because his state did not see fit to enforce the sort of commonsense and lifesaving provisions Texas now demands – and Houston abortionist Douglas Karpen, who continues to prey upon vulnerable women.

What offends the abortion industry about hospital admitting privileges is that they demand accountability from abortionists. Planned Parenthood prefers an abortion Wild West, where they can act with impunity and rake in extra cash by treating women like cattle in a “meat market.” It’s time for judges like Lee Yeakel to stop protecting the abortion industry’s bottom line and remember what really counts: the safety of mothers and their babies.

In his opinion, Yeakel referred to abortion as “the most divisive issue to face this country since slavery.”

Appointed by President George W. Bush in 2003, Yeakel has ruled on abortion issues before. Last April, he struck down a law that would ban Planned Parenthood from receiving state funds. The Fifth Circuit Appeals Court, however, overturned his ruling one month later.


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