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AUSTIN, Texas – Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, and the Texas abortion industry are unrelenting in their challenge of the new Pro-Life omnibus law, HB 2. The abortion advocates are seeking an injunction in federal court to stop enforcement of HB 2 before the law takes effect on October 29th.
The attorneys at the Office of the Attorney General have capably defended the constitutionality of the law. In his opening statement, the Solicitor General Jonathan Mitchell pointed out flaws in Planned Parenthood’s case, arguing that they have no evidence or proof that HB 2 would prevent women from obtaining abortions if abortionists merely followed the law.
Abortion supporters claim that if the Pro-Life law goes into effect, abortion centers in Fort Worth, Harlingen, Killeen, Lubbock, McAllen and Waco will have to close by next Tuesday, because abortionists refuse to comply with the law. Abortionists are now required to secure admitting privileges at hospitals within 30 miles of any center committing abortions.
When the attorneys at the Office of the Attorney General moved to submit forms from the Department of State Health Services on complications from abortions, the plaintiffs vociferously objected. Defense attorneys aptly argued that the complication reports would confirm the need for the higher standards and safety regulations being challenged. The presiding judge ruled to admit the state's data on abortion complications.
Mitchell argued that Planned Parenthood is wrongly attempting to shift the burden of scientific proof to the government, when the issue in question is constitutionality.
Judge Yeakel did not have a ruling when final arguments ended, “I recognize the clock is ticking toward October the 29th. I think both sides raised strong issues, and I will get a final judgment out as quickly as I can get a final judgment out.”
Regardless of the ruling, both sides have indicated that they will appeal the decision to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Not challenged in this lawsuit, the ban on abortion at 5 months goes into effect on October 29.
Photo credit: Rep. Bryan Hughes