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Texas AG Paxton Urges Fifth Circuit to Once Again Uphold Governor Abbott’s Executive Order Suspending Elective Medical Procedures

by | Apr 17, 2020

Editor’s note. The following comes from the office of the Attorney General of Texas.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton

AUSTIN, TX—On Wednesday Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a motion with the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, asking it to stay a lower court’s order preventing Texas from suspending certain abortions during the COVID-19 pandemic. The lower court had unlawfully blocked Gov. Abbott’s Executive Order GA-09 despite the higher court vacating a similar temporary restraining order issued just last week.

The executive order postpones any unnecessary medical procedures to preserve desperately needed medical supplies for the health professionals combating the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). A number of abortion facilities challenged the executive order in court and received a temporary order preventing the governor from enforcing GA-09 as to them only and to certain medication and late second-trimester abortions they perform. It remains binding on all other Texas abortion providers who are not parties to the case and to all other abortions not specifically identified in the district court’s order.

“Abortion providers seeking special exemptions from the temporary requirements for medical facilities in Texas are withholding desperately needed medical supplies from those on the frontlines of this battle.” said Attorney General Paxton. “For years, abortion has been touted as a ‘choice’ by the same groups now attempting to claim it is an essential procedure to block a justly implemented executive order that protects public health. I will continue to defend the medical professionals in need of supplies and Texans suffering during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that we can successfully combat this unprecedented health crisis.”

Medication abortions, which are often misrepresented as consisting of no more than a pill, involves a multi-step procedure that carries serious risks and occurs over several days. It begins with an ultrasound and physical exam, two different medications, bleeding and painful cramping, expulsion of the unborn child, and a follow-up exam to ensure the abortion is complete.

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