By Dave Andrusko
Last week we reported that U.S. District Court Lee Yeakel of the Western District of Texas had issued a temporary restraining order blocking Texas’ Dismemberment Abortion Ban– part of Senate Bill 8–while the full lawsuit brought by the abortion industry against the State of Texas moves forward. The TRO had been scheduled to expire in 14 days–today.
On Thursday, Judge Yeakel “grant[ed] a request from the attorney general’s office and abortion clinics suing the state, and extended by some three weeks his order blocking the law, to Nov. 22,” the San Antonio Express reported. He also set a November 2 trial date for the lawsuit brought by the abortion industry against the State of Texas.
Judge Yeakel’s initial order was issued Aug. 31, a day before the law was set to take effect.
In addition to banning dismemberment abortions, Senate Bill 8 also prohibits partial-birth abortion and regulates the disposition of the remains of abortion victims.
Last week Yeakel wrote, “The act leaves that woman and her physician with abortion procedures that are more complex, risky, expensive, difficult for many women to arrange, and often involve multi-day visits to physicians, and overnight hospital stays.”
The ruling was hailed by Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, as “the latest victory upholding a woman’s right to safe and legal abortion,”
Marc Rylander, a spokesman for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, countered, “Dismemberment abortions are gruesome and inhumane, which makes it troubling that a district court would block Texas’ lawful authority to protect the life of unborn children from such a barbaric practice.”
The ban on dismemberment abortion is very specific. It 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 abortion.