A legal team from Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office today urged the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit to overturn a lower court ruling blocking part of Senate Bill 8, a law enacted by the Texas Legislature, which prohibits ghastly dismemberment abortions. Abortion by dismemberment, which is performed in the second trimester, kills fetuses by using forceps to tear them apart limb by limb while they are still alive, causing the unborn child to bleed to death in their mother’s womb. The law does not prohibit other second-trimester abortions.
“My office’s legal team exposed the horrific truth of dismemberment abortions, a gruesome, inhumane, and barbaric procedure that completely disregards respect for human life,” Attorney General Paxton said. “During today’s arguments, we demonstrated that Senate Bill 8 is constitutional, and I’m optimistic that the 5th Circuit will uphold Texas’ lawful authority to protect unborn children from this abhorrent procedure.”
Although the U.S. Supreme Court previously held that states may pass laws to protect and foster respect for unborn life by banning inhumane abortion procedures, the U.S. District Court in Austin ruled against Senate Bill 8 the day before it was to take effect.
The Texas law was put on weeklong trial in November 2017 and the district court ruled in favor of abortion providers who challenged Senate Bill 8. Attorney General Paxton immediately filed a notice of appeal to the 5th Circuit. A three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit heard today’s oral arguments.
View Attorney General Paxton’s brief defending Senate Bill 8 here: https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/sites/default/files/images/admin/2018/Press/20180226_Appellants'%20Brief.pdf