Texas Abortion Providers Push for Emergency Relief in Federal District Court

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This comes one day after the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals used unusual legal mechanisms to enforce Gov. Abbott’s COVID-19 order targeting abortion.
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This afternoon, Texas abortion providers went back to a federal district court to renew their request for emergency relief for their patients. This comes one day after the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals used unusual legal procedures to enforce Gov. Abbott’s COVID-19 order targeting abortion. Abortion providers are pursuing every legal avenue available to them, which includes seeking a more limited temporary restraining order from the lower court in response to the concerns expressed by the 5thCircuit. Providers are committed to ensuring Texans have access to the health care they need during this pandemic. 

Statement from Molly Duane, Staff Attorney with the Center for Reproductive Rights

“We’re asking the district court to block the state’s order because we believe this is the fastest way to resume full access to abortion in Texas, which is our number one priority. The Fifth Circuit suggested there are outstanding factual questions about the impact of this order. During the last two weeks, abortion has been largely unavailable in Texas, and we have seen that the impact on patients is devastating. That is exactly what we will show the district court.”

Read more about the need for abortion access in Texas and the detrimental effects of Abbott’s order from the country’s leading physician organizations, including the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG):

  • Abortion is one of the safest medical procedures performed in the United States, and the vast majority of abortions are performed in out- patient non-hospital settings.
  • But the COVID-19 pandemic does not justify restricting abortion care in Texas. Most abortions do not require use of any hospital resources and use only minimal PPE. Indeed, the Governor’s order is likely to increase, rather than decrease, burdens on hospitals and use of PPE. At the same time, it will severely impair essential health care for women, and it will place doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals in an untenable position by criminalizing necessary medical care. 
  • While abortion is a safe and common medical procedure, it is also a time-sensitive one for which a delay may increase the risks or potentially make it completely inaccessible. The consequences of being unable to obtain an abortion profoundly impact a person’s life, health, and wellbeing. 
  • Advances in medical science have expanded safe options for pregnancy termination. For example, medication abortion is a safe and effective option in the first trimester. Thirty percent of abortions are medication abortions, where patients typically take the medication to complete the procedure at home.

The full amicus brief from the AMA and ACOG can be found here.

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MEDIA CONTACTS:

Planned Parenthood Media Office: 212-261-4433; media.office@ppfa.org

Center for Reproductive Rights: 585-919-9966; center.press@reprorights.org

The Lawyering Project: jmiller@lawyeringproject.org