By: Reuters / Jon Herskowitz

A U.S. district judge on Wednesday struck down parts of a Texas law that would ban the most common type of second-trimester abortions in the state, after plaintiffs argued the procedure was safe, legal and necessary for women’s health.

U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel in Austin issued a permanent injunction against the provisions that were in legislation known as Senate Bill 8 (SB 8) and set to take effect this year, saying they “are facially unconstitutional.”

Texas Alliance for Life Executive Director Joe Pojmansaid they are “disappointed” but “not surprised” given that “Judge Yeakel has consistently struck down protective, prolife legislation passed by the Texas Legislature.”

By: Jardine Malado

A judge has thrown out provisions of a Texas law that would have prohibited dismemberment abortions, which is commonly used in the second trimester to terminate pregnancies.

On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel had issued a permanent injunction against the provisions contained in Senate Bill 8, which was aimed at banning doctors from performing dilation and evacuation abortions.

In his ruling, Yeakel argued that the provisions were “facially unconstitutional” and that it “intervenes in the medical process of abortion prior to viability in an unduly burdensome manner.”

Yeakel contended that women would “suffer irreparable harm by being unable to access the most commonly used and safest previability-second-trimester-abortion procedure.”

The judge further stated that “dismemberment abortion” was not a medical term used by physicians, and asserted that the aim of the measure was to ban the dilation and evacuation procedure.

Yeakel’s decision came just as the restraining order he placed on the legislation was set to expire on Wednesday.

Joe Pojman, executive director of Texas Alliance For Life (TAL), slammed the ruling, and commended Paxton for his “robust defense of the law.”

“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,” he said, as reported by Life Site News.

By: TexasGOPVote

AUSTIN — United States Federal District Court Judge Lee Yeakel released his ruling today permanently striking down the portion of Senate Bill 8 (SB 8) that bans dismemberment abortions, in which a live unborn child in the second trimester is killed is the process of being dismembered using metal instruments. In Whole Woman’s Health v. Paxton, several abortion providers including Planned Parenthood sued to strike down that provision claiming that it effectively bans the most common method of abortion second trimester abortion known as dilation and evacuation (D&E) abortions, which are performed thousands of times each year in Texas. Attorney General Ken Paxton defended the law and argued the State has an interest in advancing respect for the dignity of the life of the unborn.

By: Lianne Laurence

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.

By: Grace Carr

Texas has allocated $20 million in its 2018-2019 budget to go to a pro-life program that offers alternatives to abortion and provides services to new parents.

“If they’re self sufficient through the process of childbirth and afterward, that saves the state money and makes for much happier women and children and families,” Texas Alliance for Life executive director, Joe Pojman, said, according to the Texas Tribune. The $20 million brings the program’s total operating budget to over $38 million.

By: Matthew Choi

The Texas Legislature’s budget for the next two years includes $20 million in funding for a controversial program that seeks to discourage women from getting abortions in the state.

Alternatives to Abortion uses contracted providers to offer services such as financial counseling and support groups for new parents, as well as children’s items such as car seats and infant formula. The extra money puts the program’s total operating budget at over $38 million, the highest it’s been since it began in 2006.

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The Texas Health and Human Services Commission, which oversees Alternatives to Abortion, said in a report it plans to use the funding to extend services for new parents until the child’s third birthday and connect pregnant mothers to financial assistance programs such as Medicaid, CHIP and food stamps. The commission also plans to expand job training and placement for mothers under the program, which will “lead to greater self-sufficiency and lower reliance on health and human service programs across the lifespan,” according to the report.

State law requires the Health and Human Services Commission to report funding needs to the governor and Legislature. Funding is allocated in two-year periods and has steadily grown each legislative session. The 2018-2019 period’s $20 million increase is the largest in the program’s history — four times its starting budget in 2006. The last increase was an additional $8 million beginning in 2016.

Anti-abortion groups have long lobbied to get greater funding for the program. Joe Pojman, executive director Texas Alliance for Life, said he was “ecstatic” to hear about the funding increases, saying it demonstrates the state’s priority in limiting abortion.

Pojman said expanding Alternatives to Abortion will save the state money by making helping new mothers become financially independent and equipped to care for their children, lowering the number of parents relying on state social services.

“If they’re self sufficient through the process of childbirth and afterward, that saves the state money and makes for much happier women and children and families,” Pojman said.