Report: Texas Abortionists Ended 67 Pregnancies in 17 Hours to Beat Heartbeat Ban Deadline

Hundreds of little plastic foetuses are displayed on a square in Houten, August 12, 2013. The Dutch Christian organisation Schreeuw om Leven (Scream for Life) has set up the action to protest against the establishment of a Centre for Birth Control, Abortion and Sexuality Rotterdam (CASA) in Houten. AFP PHOTO …
ROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN/AFP via Getty Images

An abortion clinic in Fort Worth, Texas, “raced” to terminate as many pregnancies as possible before midnight Tuesday, when the state’s heartbeat abortion ban took effect, The 19th reported in a dramatic piece last week.

According to the gender and politics independent outlet founded by two former editors of the Texas Tribune, abortionist Marva Sadler of Whole Woman’s Health, one of the largest abortion clinics in Texas, said four hours before the deadline, two dozen women were still packing the waiting room hoping to end their pregnancies before the law took effect.

The abortionists terminated 67 pregnancies in 17 hours, racing to beat the heartbeat ban, said the report.

“We are not the bad guys here,” Sadler told her staff. “We are doing everything right and we’re going to help everybody that we can. If there’s someone that we can’t help, it’s not our fault.”

According to the report:

The staff worked without stopping to eat, shifting patients in and out of rooms. In the lobby, people who had been waiting five hours or more asked when they would be called. They had to pick up other kids. Their ride was leaving. Their family members, who were outside because of coronavirus regulations, knocked on the front door to see what was happening. Would they be seen or turned away?

When Sadler returned to her abortion clinic the next day, the law was in effect, and she knew she would have to turn women away.

“How unfair,” she kept thinking, “that those women yesterday were helped, and the women today don’t have any help.”

The U.S. Supreme Court decided, 5-4, not to block the heartbeat ban, which prohibits abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, at generally six weeks’ gestation.

The new law also contains a unique enforcement mechanism whereby any private citizen may file a civil lawsuit against an abortion provider or any other individual who “aids or abets” a “criminal abortion.”

However, Judge Maya Guerra Gamble of the District Court in Travis County, Texas, granted Planned Parenthood’s application for a temporary restraining order (TRO) against Texas Right to Life, which spearheaded the new law, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision.

As Breitbart News reported:

The TRO blocks not only Texas Right to Life but up to 100 private individuals. The judge announced her intention to block the law entirely, but the order itself covers only those 100 individuals. For lawsuits being brought under the new law, the question will be if any of them are “persons in active concert and participation with” Texas Right to Life. If so, up to 100 of them would be blocked. But private citizens who are not actively working with the pro-life organization are still free to bring private lawsuits.

Gamble said the Texas law “creates a probable, irreparable, and imminent injury in the interim for which Plaintiffs and their physicians, staff, and patients throughout Texas have no adequate remedy at law if Plaintiffs, their physicians, and staff are subjected to private enforcement lawsuits against them under S.B. 8.”

The TRO is in effect until September 17. A hearing for a preliminary injunction has been set for September 13.

The case is Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas Surgical Health Services v. Texas Right to Life No. D-1-GN-21-004632, in District Court of Travis County, Texas.

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