Judge promises quick response in challenge to pro-life Texas law

By Dave Andrusko

Yesterday we published a brief overview of the two-hour hearing held before U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel in which pro-abortion plaintiffs asked Yeakel to issue a temporary injunction preventing Texas’ ban on dismemberment abortions from taking effect this coming Friday.

If he does, the hold will in place for 14 days with the possibility of one 14-day extension, reported Chuck Lindell for the American-Statesman.

Acknowledging the timeframe, Yeakel said, “We will have a ruling out quickly in this case.”

Lindell wrote

Whether Yeakel blocks the law or not, he said he will conduct a trial — likely in September — on a request by abortion providers to toss out the regulation. But after lawyers for both sides argued Tuesday about what information, documents and depositions had to be provided before trial, Yeakel expressed skepticism — and frustration — about the future of the case.

“You can’t agree on the most simple things,” the judge said.

As NRL News Today previously reported, Texas’ Senate Bill 8 has multiple pro-life provisions. The component challenged yesterday forbids the use of 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. Texas joined seven other states– Kansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, and Louisiana–in barring dismemberment abortions.

According to Lindell, Darren McCarty, a lawyer for state Attorney General Ken Paxton, told Judge Yeakel that

the regulation doesn’t ban D&E procedures, it merely requires doctors to ensure “fetal demise” before beginning the procedure.

The law “requires the humane termination of an unborn child’s life before it is torn apart and evacuated,” McCarty said. “The state has a legitimate interest in banning or regulating a particularly gruesome procedure.”

Representing abortion clinics and abortionists, Janet Crepps with the Center for Reproductive Rights, “argued that the law places unconstitutional limits on women seeking to exercise their right to an abortion by requiring medically unnecessary, physically risky and invasive procedures that impose burdens that far outweigh any benefits,” Lindell reported.

McCarty countered

that Crepps presented no credible evidence that the rule would impose a burden, noting that some Texas abortion doctors already cause fetal demise before second-trimester abortions and would be in compliance with SB 8.

He also complained that abortion providers haven’t complied with the state’s demand for information on which doctors take the extra step, how often it happens and whether there were medical complications. That data would help determine if the law places any burden on women or doctors.