5th Circuit: Gov. Abbott and AG Paxton Correct, Abortion Not Essential Health Care

Austin, Texas – The federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling (mandamus) today allowing Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order temporarily banning all non-essential medical procedures, including abortion, to stand. The Fifth Circuit’s mandamus is a step further than the emergency stay the Fifth Circuit issued previously and strikes down Judge Yeakel’s temporary restraining order, while also giving the opinion of the Fifth Circuit. Mandamus is a court order issued as a command to a lower court, in this case, Federal Judge Lee Yeakel. If abortion advocates appeal, the case would go before the United States Supreme Court.

Calling the lower court’s ruling an “extraordinary error,” the Fifth Circuit found that the lower court had applied incorrect standards relating to emergency health measures and as a result, had come to an erroneous result.  The Fifth Circuit also stated in its opinion the lower court had effectively “usurped” the state’s authority to craft emergency orders responsive to the current public health emergency and that “time is of the essence” in preserving the state’s medical supplies and resources for COVID-19 patients.

Texas Values had filed a legal brief at the Fifth Circuit, along with 11 like-minded organizations from other states and the medical organization, American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG), in support of Governor Abbott’s executive order.

Mary Elizabeth Castle, Policy Advisor for Texas Values said: “During this pandemic everyone has had to make sacrifices and a child should not be one of those sacrifices.  We thank the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals for using common sense in ensuring that personal protective equipment is used to protect those on the front lines during this crisis.”

Texas Values is one of the leading pro-life groups in the state of Texas and has been involved with pro-life legislation at the Texas Legislature since 2012, including working on multiple signed pieces of legislation like the Born Alive Infant Protection Act and the Sonogram Law.


About Texas Values

Texas Values is the largest statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to standing for faith, family, and freedom in Texas. More information is available at txvalues.org.

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