AUSTIN, Texas, November 23, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — A federal judge has struck down a Texas law banning live dismemberment abortions.
Federal District Judge Lee Yeakel ruled Wednesday the bill was unconstitutional, and would put an “undue burden” on women.
“The State’s valid interest in promoting respect for the life of the unborn, although legitimate, is not sufficient to justify such a substantial obstacle to the constitutionally protected right of a woman to terminate a pregnancy before fetal viability,” wrote Yeakel.
Senate Bill 8 criminalizes dismembering a live child in utero. Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 8 into law in June, and it was to go into effect September 1.
But Yeakel issued a temporary restraining order August 30 blocking implementation of the bill after the Center for Reproductive Rights and Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit on behalf of several abortion facilities challenging the statute.
Yeakel’s ruling quashing the law came just as his restraining order was set to expire Wednesday.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has already appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, according to a Texas Alliance For Life (TAL) press release.
TAL Executive Director Joe Pojman slammed Yeakel’s judgement.
“U.S. Supreme Court precedent does not allow states to protect non-viable unborn babies from abortion, even when the methods entails dismembering the baby during the abortion. Most people find abortion by this method to be abhorrent,” Pojman said.
“This court’s decision shows how out of step that precedent is with common human decency.”
TAL “commends the stalwart and robust defense of the law by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s team,” noted Pojman.
During a five-day trial ending November 8, state lawyers argued it was reasonable to require “fetal demise” before the baby is torn limb from limb in utero, according to Notre Dame professor Margaret Cleveland in a Washington Examiner commentary on the trial.