Just hours after a liberal Travis County judge issued a temporary injunction weakening Texas’ exception for abortion in cases of medical emergencies, the Texas Attorney General’s Office (OAG) appealed and halted the decision. The case in question, Zurawski v. Texas, is brought by the anti-Life group Center for Reproductive Rights on behalf of 13 women who believe they should have qualified for a medically necessary abortion but were denied.
Current state Pro-Life laws, including the Texas Heartbeat Act and the Trigger Law, together outlaw all elective abortion in the state of Texas. But our laws are clear — intervention done to save the life of the mother is NOT prohibited. Importantly, the risk to a mother’s life or major bodily function does not have to be “imminent”, as the lawsuit would have you believe.
The plaintiffs argued that the law was unclear and needed to be expanded to allow abortions even when preborn children were diagnosed with a life-limiting disability. The Travis County judge’s ruling allows doctors to use their own medical judgment in these situations, which is such a wide loophole that it could allow elective abortions.
This is a striking example of a liberal judge legislating from the bench rather than interpreting the law.
In response to the dangerous decision, the OAG immediately appealed to the Texas Supreme Court (SCOTX) and blocked the lower court’s ruling.
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This means the current Texas law is in effect and enforceable until SCOTX takes action. With this move, the state has signaled that it is committed to protecting preborn children from efforts to weaken our Pro-Life laws.
The solution to the confusion over what constitutes a medical emergency and when medical professionals can intervene to save the life of a pregnant woman is for the current law to be implemented appropriately by medical associations and not needlessly put pregnant women and preborn children at risk.
Texas Right to Life continues to call for the medical associations and agencies to provide guidance and clarification to our health professionals so our state can keep protecting all preborn children while not needlessly putting their mothers’ lives at risk.