Ban on Second Trimester abortion method upheld by federal appeals court

A New Orleans Federal Court of Appeal on Wednesday upheld a Texas law banning a kind of abortion used regularly to stop pregnant women in the second quarter. The law effectively bans what in their second pregnancy trimester is typically the safest way of abortion for women: evacuation and dilation.

The 2017 law referred to above has never been enacted. It seeks to disallow using forceps to remove an infant from the womb — known as the ‘disintegration abortion’ method — with no prior drug or suction procedure to check the death of the foetus.

The law was called into question by abortion advocates, who said that foetuses were unfit to experience pain during the gestation period of legislation and that one of the options proposed by the State, the removal of the suction of the foetus, was also dismembered.

Last year, the law’s execution was stopped by the Three Judges Panel of the Fifth Track Court of Appeals. Nevertheless, Texas asked and the full court allowed a rehearsal.

Three of 17 current court members rejected the 14 appellant judges who heard the arguments in January, sided with Texas. The judgement, authored by Judges Don Willett and Jennifer Walker Elrod, said that the evidence shows that doctors may perform D&Es safely and utilise commonly used methods to meet the requirements of SB8.

The dissenting view was offered by Judge James Dennis and Judges James Graves and Carl Stewart. The second dissent was written by Judge Gregg Costa and Stephen Higginson.

Dennis stated that, under the pretence of control, Texas law constitutes the crime of carrying out second-quarter abortion technology, the most common and safe method.

Nancy Northup, Center for Reproductive Rights’ CEO and President, said the organisation studies the decision and weighs down all legal options.

Northup said that Texas is deeply motivated by legislation against abortion, and it is furious that the federal court would support a law that clearly conflicts with decades of precedent by the Supreme Court. It was added that the state should increase and not decrease access to abortion when the healthcare needs of the people of Texas are greater than ever. This judgement today undoubtedly affects individuals who are already experiencing severe health difficulties in a disproportionate way.

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