Pro-Abortion Advocates Sue Texas For Saving Lives During COVID-19

UPDATE 4-20-20: The Fifth Circuit vacated the lower federal district court’s latest Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) from April 9th today.  This includes canceling the TRO with regard to chemical abortions and 18-week gestation patients.  The Fifth Circuit did not vacate the order concerning patients who would reach 22-weeks gestation under the current executive order. Read more.

UPDATE 4-6-20: 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. 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. Read more.

UPDATE 4-2-20: In a victory for life this week, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily overruled a federal judge’s injunction against Governor Greg Abbott’s order that postponed any unnecessary medical procedures, including abortion. This means that abortion will continue to be stopped in Texas as part of the state’s emergency response to the coronavirus pandemic. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton had filed for immediate appellate review in the Fifth Circuit to enforce Governor Abbott’s March 21 Executive Order after Federal judge Lee Yeakel had initially ruled that the abortion industry must be allowed to continue killing unborn children.

Texas Values has now filed a legal brief at the Fifth Circuit, signed on by 13 other pro-life organizations, strongly arguing that states may suspend access to abortion to preserve the lives of those threatened by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our legal brief argues, “But their [Abortion providers] claim that the Constitution requires the judiciary to impose their twisted priorities on elected officials who are trying to save as many lives as possible during a global pandemic is preposterous. Mandamus is necessary to remind these blinkered ideologues that there are some things more important than access to abortion, and the need to protect human life and safety during a deadly and catastrophic pandemic is one of them.” Read our full legal brief here.

* View all updates on this case here.

Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order earlier this week that halted all elective surgeries in order for hospitals to have enough beds and personal protective equipment to treat people infected by COVID-19. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton followed with an opinion that clarified that abortion is was included in the prohibition on elective surgeries saying: “This prohibition applies throughout the State and to all surgeries and procedures that are not immediately medically necessary … such as orthopedic surgeries or any type of abortion that is not medically necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother.”

But in the midst of a national coronavirus pandemic that has claimed thousands of lives, abortion advocates are more concerned about performing abortions in order to end the lives of babies in the womb. After hearing that they could no longer abort babies while Texas experiences a health crisis that could cause medical supply shortages, abortion rights advocates, including Planned Parenthood, have filed a federal lawsuit against Governor Abbott and Attorney General Paxton claiming that they have a constitutional right to end a pregnancy.

The Plaintiffs bringing the suit are several Planned Parenthood branches, branches of Whole Women’s Health, two other women’s surgical centers that provide abortion and an abortion doctor. While no pregnant woman is suing in this case, the plaintiffs plead for a temporary restraining order, a preliminary injunction, and permanent injunction to keep the Governor, the Attorney General, or any state agent from enforcing the Governor’s Executive Order to save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. The plaintiffs argue that no woman should be forced to carry a baby to term. The executive order will be over in three weeks.

As Attorney General Paxton said after coming on a special Texas Values Facebook live to talk about this issue, “[It is] unconscionable that abortion providers are fighting against the health of Texans and withholding desperately needed supplies and personal protective equipment in favor of a procedure that they refer to as a ‘choice.’

While many pro-abortion activists are calling the Governor’s office in order to exploit a national crisis, please take the time to contact Governor Abbott and thank him for protecting lives.

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