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Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), along with other pro-choice groups, filed a lawsuit against Wednesday Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Attorney General Ken Paxton and Several Other State Officials Regarding Temporary Ban on Election Abortion during the coronavirus pandemic.
The ban was issued as part of an Abbott executive order to conserve medical equipment and the capacity of the health care system after warnings from health care professionals that coronavirus patients could overwhelm hospital capacity and depleting supplies, such as personal protective equipment for doctors and nurses.
Pro-choice activists say the ban was ordered in bad faith and limits access to “essential” proceedings.
“Governor Abbott and National Anti-Abortion Activists Forge Legal and Political Fight Amid Public Health Crisis,” said PPFA Acting President and CEO Alexis McGill-Johnson . “Elected leaders are devoting precious time and resources to exploiting a global pandemic to score political points instead of mobilizing to respond to this crisis.”
Nancy Northrop, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement that even a temporary ban on abortion would hurt women in Texas.
“Abortion care is urgent and essential health care that has a profound impact on a person’s health and life, which is why it is protected as a constitutional right. Texas is abusing the state’s emergency powers and we are filing a lawsuit to end them today. ,” she says.
Paxton, however, countered that it is the abortion providers who act in bad faith and endanger the lives of Texans.
“It is unacceptable that abortion providers fight the health of Texans and refuse the supplies and personal protective equipment they desperately need in favor of a procedure which they describe as” choice “”, he said. he tweeted on Wednesday evening. “My office will tirelessly defend the Order of Governor Abbott to ensure that the necessary supplies reach health professionals who are fighting this national health crisis.”
Paxton’s interpretation of the governor’s order would allow only abortions “medically necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother”.
A group of pro-life leaders sent a letter to the federal Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday opposing the promotion of abortion during the coronavirus pandemic. He also called on “all public health officials” to oppose efforts to allow abortion providers to use protective equipment or receive response funds for coronaviruses, among others.
“While surgical centers postpone elective and diagnostic procedures, abortion centers produce surgical and chemical abortions and put women, especially the poor, at risk”, the letter bed. “Continuing operations are depleting the much-needed personal protective equipment and causing complications that will further overwhelm already overcrowded emergency rooms. The abortion industry is exacerbating one crisis with another. Therefore, we urge officials to use their broad emergency authority to protect themselves from the extreme abortion program. “
Planned Parenthood claims that Abbott’s order and Paxton’s interpretation of it violate patients’ right to “substantial due process” under the 14th amendment, a legal catch-all involving authority states to regulate the actions of people, especially those – such as abortion – that the Supreme Court has declared constitutionally protected.
He also indicates that the order violates the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause for abortion providers by “isolating abortion providers and their patients for different treatment from other medical providers and their patients”.
The trial also points out that surgical abortions do not require a lot of PPE and medical abortion – which Paxton included in his interpretation of the ban – does not require any. For this reason, according to the lawsuit, the Texas order is more aimed at stopping abortion than conserving resources.
<< If the decree is applied, as interpreted by the Attorney General (contrary to its plain language), to apply to both procedural and medical abortion, it effectively prohibits the abortion in Texas for the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency, "said the suit.
But he also argues that surgical abortion should be allowed because medical abortion is not effective “after ten weeks of pregnancy”.
The prosecution is asking the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas for a restraining order and injunctions to allow Texas abortion providers to continue performing abortions immediately. He also requests that the court ultimately decide that Abbott’s executive order and its interpretation by Paxton are unconstitutional.
President Trump acceded to Texas’ request for a major disaster declaration on Wednesday, opening the door for additional federal funding to fight coronavirus in the state.
Sam Dorman of Fox News contributed to this report.