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Appeals court upholds Texas law banning common second-trimester abortion method

A Texas law outlawing an abortion method generally used to finish second-trimester pregnancies was upheld Wednesday by a federal appeals court in New Orleans. Abortion rights advocates argued that the law successfully outlaws what is commonly the most secure method of abortion for girls within the second trimester of being pregnant: a process medically often known as dilation and evacuation.

The 2017 law in question has by no means been enforced. It seeks to ban the usage of forceps to take away a fetus from the womb — what supporters of the law name a “dismemberment abortion” — with out first utilizing an injected drug or a suction process to make sure the fetus is lifeless.

Abortion rights advocates opposed the law, arguing that fetuses can not really feel ache throughout the gestation interval affected by the law, and that one various outlined by the state, the usage of suction to take away a fetus, additionally ends in dismemberment.

A 3-judge panel of the fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals blocked enforcement of the law final year. But Texas sought, and was granted, a re-hearing by the total court.

A majority among the many 14 appellate judges who heard arguments in January — three of the court’s 17 energetic judges had been recused — sided with Texas. The opinion, by judges Jennifer Walker Elrod and Don Willett, stated “the record shows that doctors can safely perform D&Es and comply with SB8 using methods that are already in widespread use.”

Judge James Dennis wrote a dissent on behalf of himself and judges Carl Stewart and James Graves. A separate dissent was written by Judge Stephen Higginson, joined by Gregg Costa.

Dennis stated the Texas law, ” under the guise of regulation, makes it a felony to perform the most common and safe abortion procedure employed during the second trimester.”

Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, stated that group is analyzing the choice and contemplating all its authorized choices.

“Texas has been hellbent on legislating abortion out of existence, and it is galling that a federal court would uphold a law that so clearly defies decades of Supreme Court precedent,” Northup stated. “At a time when the health care needs of Texans are greater than ever, the state should be making abortion more accessible, not less. There is no question that today’s decision will harm those who already face the greatest barriers to health care.”