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Abortion providers file suit over Abbott executive order

You can’t let crass opportunism go unchallenged.

Right there with them

Texas abortion providers announced a lawsuit against top state officials, challenging an executive order earlier this week that included abortion in a ban of all procedures that are deemed to not be medically necessary.

In a press conference Wednesday, national and state abortion rights groups said they are seeking a temporary restraining order, with hopes of a more permanent injunction to follow. They are representing various abortion providers in the state, including Austin Women’s Health Center and Southwestern Women’s Surgery Center.

The ban, which Attorney General Ken Paxton later clarified applies to abortion clinics as well, was enacted to ensure the state maintains health care capacity as it prepares for an influx of COVID-19 patients. But abortion clinics and activists in the state pushed back almost immediately, with Planned Parenthood President Alexis McGill Johnson calling it an “exploitation” of the current crisis.

Sealy Massingill, the chief medical officer of Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, took politicians to task for “playing politics” at a critical time. Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas still plans to keep clinics open, though he said the organization is bracing for further developments.

“I find it extremely distressing … that we are trying to respond to a purely political fight that [Gov. Greg Abbott] started. Patients who need abortions are on a time-sensitive deadline,” Massingill said.

Providers have already had to turn away patients, Massingill added, and delays of even a few weeks could render some abortions impossible if the patients’ pregnancies extend past legal deadlines.

Here’s the Trib story about the executive order. I didn’t get around to blogging about it because there’s just too much these days. It should be obvious that a “medically necessary” procedure is one that simply cannot be put off, at least not for a significant length of time, and that by that definition, abortion clearly fits. To claim otherwise, as the state of Ohio has also done, is sophistry at best and a straight up lie otherwise. In a rational world, this would get stopped in a hot second by any court. In a world that includes the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, your guess is as good as mine. Given that Abbott has declined to issue a statewide stay-at-home order, preferring to leave that to the locals, who have not seen fit to order clinics to stop providing abortions, the case for this is even flimsier. I feel confident that a district court judge will issue a temporary restraining order, but after that who knows. The Chron has more.

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2 Comments

  1. Bill Daniels says:

    Hmm,

    Turns out that in a time when governments are falling all over themselves trying to keep people from getting killed, and are trampling all over the rights of the citizenry, ostensibly to keep them from dying, some folks are pushing back against government.

    You’re a bad citizen if you protest the government putting you out of business or out of a job to try and keep people from dying, and to free up PPE to help save people….

    ….unless your business IS killing people. Then you’re a patriot. I totally support this lawsuit. It highlights exactly what is wrong with the overreaction, shutting down the economy. Look, people will die. I hope the abortion mills win so they can keep on killing. Dead people is nothing new. Whether you are old and sick, or young and just wanting to start life, what difference does it make whether you die from a virus, or die getting your head vacuumed out of your former residence?

    Wouldn’t it be great if the abortionists lead the charge to open the American economy back up? I hope this court challenge is successful. Respect.

  2. Bill Daniels says:

    Update:

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-usa-abortion-idUSKBN21H3B1?taid=5e82768c53c773000108caf2&utm_campaign=trueAnthem%3A+Trending+Content&utm_medium=trueAnthem&utm_source=twitter

    “(Reuters) – A U.S. judge on Monday blocked Texas officials from banning most abortions in the state as part of their order to postpone surgeries and other procedures deemed not medically necessary during the coronavirus crisis.”