Federal judge hears request for preliminary injunction against Texas’ ban on dismemberment abortions

By Dave Andrusko

Judge Lee Yeakel

U.S. District Court Judge Lee Yeakel of the Western District of Texas heard a challenge today from abortion providers represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights who argued that the state’s ban on dismemberment abortions be put on hold until a full hearing can occur.

The Dismemberment Abortion Ban section of the Senate Bill 8– passed by the Texas Legislature in the 85th Regular Session last May–is scheduled to go into effect this Friday. According to Texas Right to Life, “Judge Yeakel is expected to release an order on the preliminary injunction later this week.”

Texas joined seven other states– Kansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, and Louisiana–in forbidding an abortion “technique” that uses sharp metal clamps and scissors to crush, tear and pulverize living unborn human beings, to rip heads and legs off of tiny torsos until the defenseless child bleeds to death.

“Just like partial-birth abortions, dismemberment abortions are inhumane and gruesome acts of violence against the preborn child,” Texas Right to Life wrote today. “Passing these types of bills educates elected officials and the public on the horrific truth about the injustice and violence of abortion.”

Writing prior to the hearing, Chuck Lindell of the American-Statesman reported

Lawyers for Attorney General Ken Paxton will ask U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel to let the law take effect, as scheduled, on Friday, arguing that the state has a legitimate interest in outlawing a “brutal, gruesome and inhumane practice.”

They also say the abortion providers that sued, including Whole Woman’s Health and Planned Parenthood, are not entitled to emergency relief because they waited six weeks before filing the suit on July 20, leading to a rushed appearance before the judge days before the law takes effect.