NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld an order from the governor of Texas postponing “all surgeries and procedures that are not immediately medically necessary,” which includes elective abortions.
The court ruled that the order is not unconstitutional as it does not ban all abortions but only postpones those that are not medically necessary. Christians believe that abortion is never necessary, and a number of doctors and nurses have stated that killing a child is never warranted to save the life of a mother as physicians will simply deliver the baby early should concerns arise.
“[W]e conclude that GA-09 — an emergency measure that postpones certain non-essential abortions during an epidemic — does not ‘beyond question’ violate the constitutional right to abortion,” wrote Judge Stuart Kyle Duncan, nominated to the bench by President Trump, on behalf of the 2-1 majority.
“Properly understood, GA-09 merely postpones certain non-essential abortions,” he outlined. “GA-09 includes an emergency exception for the mother’s life and health, based on the determination of the administering physician.”
The court also found that the order is fair as it applies equally to all elective surgeries, and the fact that it doesn’t mention abortion demonstrates that abortion facilities were not specifically targeted.
“GA-09 applies to a whole host of medical procedures and regulates abortions evenhandedly with those other procedures,” Duncan noted. “The order itself does not even mention abortion — or any other particular procedure — at all. Instead, it refers broadly to ‘all surgeries or procedures’ that meet its criteria.”
“Respondents point to no evidence that GA-09 applies any differently to abortions than to any other procedure. Nor do they cite any comparable procedures that are exempt from GA-09’s requirements.”
As previously reported, on March 21, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an order instructing medical facilities to “postpone all surgeries and procedures that are not immediately medically necessary to correct a serious medical condition of, or to preserve the life of, a patient who without immediate performance of the surgery or procedure would be at risk for serious adverse medical consequences or death …”
Attorney General Ken Paxton specifically noted in a statement that the order includes abortion facilities, but excepting “life or health of the mother” cases. He advised that those who violate the order can face penalties of up to $1,000 or 180 days jail time.
“We must work together as Texans to stop the spread of COVID-19 and ensure that our health care professionals and facilities have all the resources they need to fight the virus at this time,” Paxton said. “No one is exempt from the governor’s executive order on medically unnecessary surgeries and procedures, including abortion providers. Those who violate the governor’s order will be met with the full force of the law.”
Planned Parenthood and others quickly sued via the Center for Reproductive Rights, asserting that abortion is essential and time-sensitive, and that the government was using the pandemic to target abortion facilities.
“At a minimum, those patients will not be able to obtain an abortion for weeks or even months, given that the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to last far beyond the order’s stated expiration date,” the legal filing stated. “Some will not be able to access abortion at all and will be forced to carry pregnancies to term.”
It also asserted that delivery of the child will be much more of a strain on the women than abortion.
“As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, unemployment rates are soaring, meaning that families are losing not only their income but in many cases their employer-provided health insurance; the medical and economic hardships of pregnancy and childrearing, for many families, is thus more acute now than ever,” the complaint said.
“[C]arrying an unwanted pregnancy burdens patients physically, emotionally, psychologically, and financially.”
On March 30, U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel, a Bush nominee, determined that the order serves as “effectively banning all abortions before viability” and said that the “Supreme Court has spoken clearly” that a woman has a “right” to an abortion.
“The benefits of a limited potential reduction in the use of some personal protective equipment by abortion providers is outweighed by the harm of eliminating abortion access in the midst of a pandemic that increases the risks of continuing an unwanted pregnancy,” he wrote.
On Tuesday, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, Louisiana overturned Yeakel’s ruling, finding that the Texas order does not ban all abortions but only postpones those that are not medically necessary.
“[T]he district court overstepped its proper role and imposed its own judgment about how the COVID-19 pandemic should be handled with respect to abortion. This was a usurpation of the state’s power,” Duncan wrote.
The majority also disagreed with the Center for Reproductive Rights, stating, “[W]e see no evidence that GA-09 was meant to exploit the pandemic in order to ban abortion or was crafted ‘as some kind of ruse to unreasonably delay … abortion[s] past the point where a safe abortion could occur.'”
As previously reported, the late preacher Lee Roy Shelton wrote in “The Crimes of Our Times,” “The revelation of God made to man out of His blessed Word proves that He has purposes for every individual and for the [human] race, stretching far beyond the present moment or manifestation; and to terminate a single life is to set yourselves up as wiser and superior to God.”
“The immensity of the issues of death is so great that there can be no sin against humanity, and accordingly, against God, greater than that of taking a human life.”
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