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.
The U.S. Supreme Court decided to consider a challenge to HB 2, the pro-life law passed by wide margins in the Texas House and Senate and signed into law by then-Gov. Rick Perry in July 2013. That case is known as Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole. The lead plaintiff runs a chain of abortion facilities in Texas, New Mexico, and other states. They are challenging two key safety components of HB 2.
“In 2011, the Texas Legislature defunded Planned Parenthood $29 million per year in taxpayer dollars. This past session, the Legislature went further and removed Planned Parenthood from the Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening program, shifting $1.4 million to other providers. And now Planned Parenthood has finally been cut out of the Texas Medicaid Program, from which they were receiving nearly $2 million a year,” said Joe Pojman, Ph.D., executive director of Texas Alliance for Life. “We are pleased that Planned Parenthood will no longer be receiving these taxpayer dollars, while the Gov. Abbott and the Texas Legislature are funding women’s health services at historically high levels through thousands of better providers.”