Abortion Advocates Are Suing Texas Over New Anti-Choice Laws

The Center for Reproductive Rights and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America claim a new anti-choice law “violates patients’ constitutional rights.”

By Eric Shorey

The Center for Reproductive Rights and The Planned Parenthood Federation of America have filed a lawsuit objecting to a Texas law that forbids a common abortion procedure. 

Senate Bill 8, which was passed in a session this year, imposes a handful of new restrictions on abortion including a requirement to bury or cremate fetal tissue, a ban on the donation of fetal tissue from an abortion, a ban specificly on a late-term procedure known medically as dilation and extraction (which are already illegal in the United States), and a ban on the use of dilation and evacuation (D&E), one of the most common and safest procedures used on fetuses older than 15 weeks. The last ban, as noted by The Austin Chronicledoes not include exceptions in cases of rape or incest.

The lawsuit specifically states that the D&E ban “threatens the health of...patients and their access to abortion care,” and “violates patients’ constitutional rights.”

"[A] ban on D&E procedures imposes an undue burden on women seeking second-trimester abortions. In addition, to the extent that any physician can continue to provide D&E procedures, the ban violates Plaintiffs’ patients’ right to bodily integrity because it would require them to accept unnecessary, invasive, and potentially painful medical procedures, in order to access their constitutional right to abortion," the suit says.

Even more restrictive regulations on abortion are in process in Texas. In a special session, Republicans have introduced House Bill 86, which would revoke the medical licenses of doctors who perform abortions. Republican Governor Greg Abbott has created a list of additional "must-have" abortion restrictions, which include "legislation prohibiting financial transactions between a governmental entity and an abortion provider or affiliate of the abortion provider, legislation restricting health plan and health benefit plan coverage for abortions, and legislation strengthening the laws applicable to the reporting of abortions and abortion complications to the Department of State Health Services."

Considering the ease with which SB8 passed, it seems plausible that Abbott will accomplish his goals.

[Photo: Getty Images]

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