Fifth Circuit Court knocks down Texas abortion ban | The Latest | Gambit Weekly

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Tuesday evening a Texas law banning the most common and safest type of second trimester abortion, marking an unlikely victory for reproductive rights advocates from one of the most conservative appeals courts. 

The statute effectively outlawed the dilation and evacuation procedure, known as D&E, in which doctors open the cervix and remove fetal tissue from the uterus. The law would only allow the procedure, the one usually used for abortions after 14 weeks of pregnancy, if the “fetal demise” occurs in the uteruswhich would require an invasive additional step for doctors and women that is not part of a typical D&E. 

In its Whole Woman’s Health v. Ken Paxton decision, the Fifth Circuit ruled that the law unduly burdens a woman’s constitutionally-protected right to obtain a previability abortion” because it “requires a woman to undergo an additional and medically unnecessary procedure to cause fetal demise before she may obtain a dilation and evacuation abortion.”  

Louisiana passed a similar law in 2016, with exceptions only for a serious health risk to the mother, but it is not currently in effect. Several other states have had their own bans challenged in courtincluding Alabama, Kansas and Oklahoma. It is unclear if the ruling will apply to Louisiana and Mississippi, which are also in the Fifth Circuit’s jurisdiction and have similar bans on the books. 

The Texas law started out as a bill banning a late-term abortion procedure that was already outlawed at the federal level in 2003 and forbidding the sale or donation of embryonic and fetal tissue. But after several amendments, the final form of the law had many other parts, including requiring the burial or cremation of embryonic and fetal tissue. The D&E ban, however, was the biggest change. 

The law also included criminal penalties for doctors who did not adhere to it. 

Eight licensed abortion clinics and three abortion providers challenged the Texas law, and the Fifth Circuit, which covers Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, ruled in their favor and against the state of Texas. 

The ruling in favor of abortion rights comes as Louisiana residents begin to vote on whether they want to add an amendment to the state constitution declaring it does not include the right to abortion. It also comes in the midst of Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Senate confirmation hearings. If confirmed to the Supreme Court, Barrett would give the court and even stronger anti-abortion majority, which could impact decades of future abortion legislation. 

Barrett is from Louisiana.

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Michigan Sen. Gary Peters shares story about ex-wife’s life-saving abortion for the first time

“The mental anguish someone goes through is intense,” Peters, a Michigan Democrat, said in an interview with Elle magazine published on Monday, “trying to have a miscarriage for a child that was wanted.”

But the situation became more critical when Heidi’s health deteriorated, so the couple found a doctor at another hospital who agreed to do the procedure.

In the interview, Peters spoke publicly for the first time about the abortion and the troubling moments leading up to the event, which threatened the life of his ex-wife. Peters now joins a small group of members of Congress who have spoken about their personal experiences with abortion.

“My story is one that’s tragically shared by so many Americans,” Peters tweeted on Monday. “It’s a story of gut-wrenching and complicated decisions — but it’s important for folks to understand families face these situations every day.”

Peters shared the story as he fights to retain his seat in the Senate in a battleground state that President Trump narrowly won in 2016. Peters faces John James, a well-funded Republican businessman and Army veteran.

His challenger supports limiting access to abortions, overturning Roe v. Wade, remains against abortions in cases of rape and incest, and compared abortions to “genocide” in 2018, according to MLive.com.

Peters suggested that his family’s experience colors his own view of abortion access.

“It’s important for folks to understand that these things happen to folks every day,” Peters said. “I’ve always considered myself pro-choice and believe women should be able to make these decisions themselves, but when you live it in real life, you realize the significant impact it can have on a family.”

Peters and Heidi had very much wanted the baby, which would have been their second child, he told Elle. But when Heidi’s water broke five months early, their doctor told them that without the amniotic fluid, the baby had no chance of survival.

Heidi’s health declined in the days that followed, and a doctor warned that if she did not have an abortion immediately, she could lose her uterus or die of a uterine infection that could cause her to become septic. After the hospital’s board rejected an appeal to make an exception for Heidi, the doctor urged the couple to go to another hospital for the abortion.

“I still vividly remember he left a message on the answering machine saying, ‘They refused to give me permission, not based on good medical practice, simply based on politics. I recommend you immediately find another physician who can do this procedure quickly,’” Peters told Elle.

They followed the doctor’s recommendation and Heidi was rushed into an emergency abortion at another hospital. It “enacted an incredible emotional toll,” Peters said.

In a statement to Elle, Heidi described those several days as “painful and traumatic.”

“If it weren’t for urgent and critical medical care, I could have lost my life,” she added.

“It’s important for folks who are willing to tell these stories to tell them, especially now,” Peters said. “This

The United Nations Continues Its Abortion Advocacy

Various elements of the United Nations system, including the World Health Organization, UNICEF, UNFPA, and the World Bank, will partner with abortion groups to advance a “human right” to abortion. The U.N. made the announcement on September 29 to commemorate so-called International Safe Abortion Day, with the stated goal of addressing “unsafe abortion” in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The partnership, headed by the WHO Department of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research, will bring together U.N. entities with the world’s largest abortion providers, including the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Ipas, and Marie Stopes International, to promote “comprehensive abortion care,” including access to self-administered telemedicine abortion, as an essential service and a “human right.”

By collaborating on “mitigation strategies” to reduce disruption in abortion access, in addition to “procurement and funding” for abortion services, the goal of the partnership is for Big Abortion and the U.N. to make abortion available and accessible on demand everywhere. The announcement goes so far as to highlight not only young girls but also “those with varying gender identities” as people who should be able to receive “abortion care.”

Cooperation between the U.N. and the abortion industry is nothing new, but the coronavirus climate has paved the way for increasingly brazen and bizarre alliances. This is a new direction for UNICEF and the World Bank, for example, both of which traditionally have steered clear of overt abortion activism. Although it’s commonplace, it is essential to underscore that U.N. abortion promotion is fundamentally at odds with its institutional mandate. National governments, not the international bureaucracy, should chart the course for the U.N. system.

As long as pro-life governments exist — and there are many stalwart pro-life governments — it is inappropriate and illegitimate for the U.N. to unilaterally advance abortion on demand. In fact, the powerful pro-life voice of the United States alone renders the U.N.’s continual promotion of abortion promotion and this new partnership illicit.

As the U.S. recently articulated in a statement to the U.N.: “There is no international right to abortion, nor is there any duty on the part of States to finance or facilitate abortion.” This has been a consistent and frequent stance of the U.S. government, one that has garnered widespread support from countries across the globe.

Even so, the U.N. Secretary General recently identified abortion as central to the U.N.’s COVID-19 response, and the organization’s high commissioner for human rights expressed her support for “safe abortion day.” Similarly, in the partnership announcement, Ian Askew, director of the WHO Department of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research, states that “eliminating unsafe abortion is one of the key components of the WHO Global reproductive health strategy.”

Jargon aside, U.N. efforts to address “unsafe abortion” are a euphemism for attempting to increase access to abortion where the procedure is illegal. The announcement notes that 121 million pregnancies each year are “unintended” — an unsubstantiated statistic used to justify the need for “safe abortion care.” The statement adds that “postponing