Texas Abortion Ban During Coronavirus Holds
state debate over abortions continues during coronavirus crisis
April 17, 2020
A federal appeals court blocked a ruling that would have reinstated some abortions in Texas on April 10.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order deeming abortion a nonessential procedure during the ongoing coronavirus crisis, prohibiting abortions that do not pose an immediate threat to the mother’s life.
In the ruling that issued a stay to this policy, judges Kyle Duncan and Jennifer Walker Elrod wrote that “when faced with a society-threatening epidemic, a state may implement emergency measures that curtail constitutional rights so long as the measures have at least some ‘real or substantial relation’ to the public health crisis and are not ‘beyond all question, a plain, palpable invasion of rights secured by the fundamental law.”
Health care providers opposed the ruling, stating it forces women to wait to the legal limit for no justifiable reason, and the procedure, being time-sensitive, generally cannot be delayed on a whim until the crisis as a whole is over. Some have speculated this is an excuse to push an anti-abortion agenda.