Coronavirus

Texas’ Coronavirus Abortion Ban Back in Effect

Pro-choice demonstrators march in front of the Supreme Court in 2016.
Pro-choice demonstrators march in front of the Supreme Court in 2016. Pat Benic/UPI/Newscom
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's coronavirus abortion ban is back in place because of an emergency stay from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The stay, according to the court, was issued so that it can give full consideration to an emergency appeal from the Texas attorney general.

The ban is a byproduct of an executive order issued the week before last by Abbott, banning elective medical procedures, ostensibly to preserve the state's supply of medical equipment. Once the ban was in place, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced that it also covered all abortions that didn't directly save the life of the woman carrying the child.

Abortion providers sued to stop the ban and won a temporary restraining order from a federal court in Austin on Monday. Paxton immediately appealed.
Aimee Arrambide, the executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, accused Paxton of taking advantage of the COVID-19 crisis.

“Texans are losing their jobs, they are struggling to put food on the table, they can’t get COVID-19 testing — meanwhile indicted Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is doubling down on banning abortion," Arrambide said. "Ken Paxton and Greg Abbott — Texans know abortion is a time-sensitive procedure that cannot be delayed without profound consequences, and Texans will remember that when they needed help during a pandemic, their state leaders were too busy politicizing and banning abortion care.”
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Stephen Young has written about Dallas news for the Observer since 2014. He's a Dallas native and a graduate of the University of North Texas.
Contact: Stephen Young