Today, with 69 Pro-Life elected officials, Texas Right to Life and the Texas Eagle Forum filed a joint amicus brief in the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in regards to the pending HB2 case, Whole Woman's Health v. Lakey. The case, which is the second legal challenge to HB2, contends that the law's Pro-Life protections pose an “undue burden” on abortionists and pregnant mothers seeking abortion. Texas' premier conservative organizations, including Texas Right to Life, insist that pregnant mothers deserve nothing less than the provisions afforded by HB2, and that the abortion industry's opposition to the legislation has anything but the well-being of women and babies at heart.
Today's amicus brief urges the Fifth Circuit to consider several important factors before the new 3-judge panel issues a final ruling on the case in January. The brief argues that given the documented low medical standards in the abortion industry, the State of Texas has a rational basis in requiring the industry to have admitting privileges and follow Ambulatory Surgical Center standards. Several cases, including that of Philadelphia's now-indicted Kermit Gosnell, display that the abortion industry has refused to self-regulate on any level. They refuse even the most common and widespread safety requirements, putting their own greed and abortion fanaticism above women's health every time.
The joint amicus brief points out several problems with the United State District Court’s ruling. Ignoring the very standard established by the Fifth Circuit in the law's first challenge, the District Court shortened the distance of travel which, they say, constitutes an “undue burden” on mothers seeking abortion. Additionally, the amici point out that the lower court failed to properly apply the “large-fraction” test, and violated the legislation’s severability clause. The severability clause, contained in the bill, prohibits a court from striking down any part of the law not found to be unconstitutional. In other words, the severability clause allows the largest possible portion of the law to remain in effect, even if a judge finds constitutional problems with a small part of the act. The district court however, was unclear on how exactly the law violated the rights of all pregnant women in Texas and enjoined the provision in its entirety, violating the safety net put in place by the severability clause.
As the oldest and largest Pro-Life organization in the state, Texas Right to Life is pleased to partner with the Texas Eagle Forum in defending the Life, rights and safety of mothers and children across Texas. Continue to follow Texas Right to Life for legislative updates.
Please find the full version of the brief here.