Governors across the country are banning elective surgery to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. But in a handful of states that the ban is being expanded to include a ban on abortion.
So far, courts have intervened to keep most clinics open. The outlier is Texas, where the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit this week upheld the governor’s abortion ban.
Four years ago, Texas, too, was facing a fierce legal battle that ultimately led to the US Supreme Court ruling in which judges upheld a Texas law aimed at protecting women’s health. The court ruled that the law was medically unnecessary and unconstitutional.
Now Texas is once again the epicenter of a legal battle against abortion. In other states – Ohio, Iowa, Alabama, and Oklahoma – so far, courts have supported abortion providers and their patients.
This is not the case in Texas, where government Greg Abbott signed an executive order banning all “unnecessary” medical practices in the state, including abortion. The executive order was temporarily blocked in the district court, but the Fifth Circuit upheld the governor’s ruling by a vote of 2 to 1, declaring “to deal with any public health emergency. All public constitutional rights can be reasonably limited. ”
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton interviewed NPR, saying, “So far in the state, people … need both beds and supplies, and obviously, because of the ability to require doctors and nurses, any election Medical procedures cannot be done. ”
‘Exploiting this crisis’
Nancy North, CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, looks at things very differently. He said, “It is quite clear that abortion rights politicians have been shamelessly exploiting to achieve a crisis that has long been their ideological goal of banning abortion in the United States.” Is.”
Paxton denied that, saying Texas was “not targeting any particular group.”
He said the state’s “only purpose is to save people from dying.”
Yet the American Medical Association just this week filed a briefcase in support of abortion providers, as did 18 states led by New York, the state most affected by the Coronavirus. Has happened.
They say that banning abortions is far more dangerous as it will force women to travel long distances. A study by the Guttmacher Institute found that if COVID-19 was looking for abortion during the outbreak, it would be 20 times more common if states successfully banned abortion care during pandemic diseases. Have to travel. The AMA also notes that pregnant women do not shy away from needing medical care if they do not have an abortion.
Northrop of the Center for Reproductive Rights sees this as further evidence that sanctions are an account of the state. “The lie lies in the fact that they are trying to ban drugs, even abortions. Use of pills for abortion.
“They do not need to be taken to a clinic and can be effectively taken over by telemedicine. So it shows that the real purpose here, sadly, is to close their right to decide to terminate the pregnancy.” Doing so, not legitimate healthcare
‘I was disappointed’
An affidavit filed in the Texas case states that the Texas sanctions are already a frightening experience. A statement was filed by a 24-year-old college student. The week she lost her part-time job as a waitress, she found out she was pregnant. He and his partner agreed that they wanted to terminate the pregnancy, and on March 20, she went to the clinic in Fort Worth alone. Due to social distance laws, her partner was not allowed to accompany her.
Since she was 10 weeks pregnant, still in her first trimester, she was eligible for drug abortion. Under state law, she had to wait 24 hours before taking a pill at the clinic, but the night before her scheduled appointment, the clinic called for Abbott’s executive order to be canceled.
He was partnering with her and we “started crying together”, he wrote in his statement. “I couldn’t risk the possibility that the abortion was over while the pandemic was on,” and that “it seems like travel is becoming more difficult.”
He made many calls to clinics in New Mexico and Oklahoma. The fastest option was Denver – 12 hours drive, 780 miles from where she lives. His partner was still working, so his best friend agreed to go with him. According to the affidavit, he packed cleaning supplies and food in the car for Long Drive and arrived at the Denver Clinic on March 26 where he spotted other Texas plates in the parking lot.
At the clinic, she was examined, given a sonogram again, and since Colorado did not have to wait 24 hours, she was given the first abortion pill without delay and was asked to take another. Try to reach home within 30 hours.
After that, he and his friend turned to go home. He was worried his car would get aborted, and tried to drive without interruption. But after six hours, when it was dark, they were so tired they had to stay at the motel to get some sleep. The woman finally arrived home and took another pill within the 30-hour window.
He said despite the difficulties, he was grateful that he had the money, the car, friends, and supporters to make abortions possible. He wrote that others would not be so lucky. But “I was disappointed and desperate people take desperate measures to protect themselves.”
A ‘statement of choice’
Texas, a Texas attorney general, does not seem to be affected by the time limits for pregnancy, or the difficulties of traveling outside the state to get an abortion. “The statement is always ‘this is a choice,'” he told NPR. This is the whole story. I’m a little surprised by this question, because of the way it always has been.
Instead of returning abortion providers Thursday and their patient to the Texas District Court, instead of directly appealing to the US Supreme Court to revoke the Fifth Circuit’s ruling earlier this week. Instead of a district court judge who previously blocked the governor’s ban, he limited the governor’s order so that medical abortions – including bullets – were exempt from the ban, as well as the abortion of these women. There are pregnancies that are against the last date imposed by the state. Abortion is banned in Texas after 22 weeks.
However, in the end, the matter could well be prosecuted in the US Supreme Court. And the inclusion of Trump’s two appointments since 2016 – the formation of a court on abortion rights – is pretty insulting.