A federal judge has struck down a Texas law that bans second-trimester dismemberment abortions, those in which an unborn baby is “torn limb from limb” and then extracted from the uterus.
U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel ruled that banning dismemberment abortion – a form of “D&E” (dilation and evacuation) abortion – places an “undue burden” upon women.
“The State’s valid interest in promoting respect for the life of the unborn, although legitimate, is not sufficient to justify such a substantial obstacle to the constitutionally protected right of a woman to terminate a pregnancy before fetal viability,” the judge wrote.
In a medical animation video provided by pro-life organization Live Action, former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino demonstrates a second-trimester D&E abortion during which the abortionist uses instruments to remove the limbs from an unborn baby, between 13 to 24 weeks into a pregnancy, prior to extraction from the uterus:
Texas Senate Bill 8 criminalizes dismembering an unborn child within the uterus. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott signed the measure into law in June, slating it to go into effect September 1. Yeakel, however, temporarily blocked the Texas law at the end of August after the Center for Reproductive Rights and Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit that challenged the new statute:
BREAKING: Texas court strikes down a ban on the safest and most common second trimester abortion method! That's something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving Eve. #TXDeservesBetterpic.twitter.com/jk5Jd28X0W
— Center for Reproductive Rights (@ReproRights) November 22, 2017
Attorney General Ken Paxton said he is appealing the ruling to the 5th Circuit:
A five-day trial in district court allowed us to build a record like no other in exposing the truth about the barbaric practice of dismemberment abortions. We are eager to present that extensive record before the 5th Circuit. No just society should tolerate the tearing of living human beings to pieces. We are hopeful the 5th Circuit will respect the will of the Texas Legislature by upholding Texas’ lawful authority to protect the dignity of innocent unborn children as they die.
The abortion industry claims dismemberment is one of the “safest” abortion procedures.
Media allies of the abortion industry often draw attention away from the gruesome nature of dismemberment abortion by emphasizing how “common” it is. The Texas Tribune headline reads, “Judge strikes down Texas ban on common abortion procedure.”
Cecile Richards, president of abortion industry giant Planned Parenthood, tweeted she is “grateful” for Yeakel’s decision and that “politics should never tie the hands of doctors or bar women from safe medical care — in Texas or anywhere else”:
Grateful that another court agrees politics should never tie the hands of doctors or bar women from safe medical care — in Texas or anywhere else. https://t.co/gCMLJpVN5V
— Cecile Richards (@CecileRichards) November 23, 2017
Concerning the statue and the judge’s ruling, Texas Right to Life said:
The Dismemberment Abortion Ban outlaws a specific abortion procedure in which a living preborn child is killed by being torn limb from limb in utero. The Dismemberment Abortion Ban was Texas Right to Life’s top priority for the 85th Session of the Texas Legislature and was the most widely supported Pro-Life policy platform plank for the Republican Party of Texas … The amendment passed with overwhelming bipartisan support of House members on a vote of 92-42, and Governor Abbott signed Senate Bill 8 as amended into law shortly after the session.
The legal challenge from abortion providers and the Center for Reproductive Rights comes as no surprise to Pro-Life advocates. Texas Right to Life anticipated such a legal challenge to the strongest Pro-Life legislation of the session, and still chose the Dismemberment Abortion Ban as the next logical step for the Pro-Life movement in undermining the legal foundation of Roe v. Wade. Pro-Life legal scholars anticipate that the Dismemberment Abortion Ban will successfully stand in court like the federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban, which also outlawed a specific and particularly gruesome and inhumane abortion procedure.
Breitbart News’s senior legal editor Ken Klukowski said, “Current Supreme Court precedent does not block states from passing laws on this nature, which to millions of Americans appeal to their sense of humanity, as they see the baby on ultrasound at this stage acting like a baby.”