The fight over Texas’ abortion ban during the COVID-19 pandemic is over, but what did it all mean?
Abortion rights advocates are rushing to help women as another federal legal fight looms over them.
By María Méndez
Apr 28, 2020
AUSTIN -- A lawsuit over whether Texas can halt abortions under coronavirus executive orders ping-ponged back and forth between federal courts, resulting in periods of little to no access, over the last month.
The heated legal fight, which at one point appeared to be headed to the U.S. Supreme Court, dwindled last week under a new gubernatorial order that eased restrictions on elective medical procedures, allowing abortions to resume.
Federal appeals court says Texas can block pill-induced abortions during pandemic
In March, Gov. Greg Abbott barred all procedures not “immediately medically necessary,” and the state’s attorney general declared that the restriction applied to abortions — sparking a weekslong court fight and prompting some women to seek abortions out of state.
by Shannon Najmabadi
April 20, 2020
Reversing course, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday said access to pill-induced abortions can be restricted while the state fights the coronavirus pandemic.
The decision is the latest in a fast-moving court case that has ricocheted between the politically conservative appeals court and a federal district judge in Austin — and at times amounted to a near-total ban on abortions in Texas. In previous rulings, the New Orleans-based appeals court has allowed pill-induced abortions to proceed, as well as abortions for women nearing the legal limit to have one in Texas, which is 22 weeks after the last menstrual period.
Texas Abortion Patients Arrive in Colorado Clinics ‘Frustrated and Exhausted’
People are making the grueling drive from Texas to Colorado for abortion care after Gov. Greg Abbott (R) used the COVID-19 pandemic to suspend abortion rights.
Apr 20, 2020
Dr. Rebecca Cohen now recognizes Texas area codes calling the Comprehensive Women’s Health Center in Denver.
In recent weeks, pregnant people have found their access to legal abortion increasingly compromised by the COVID-19 crisis. And many are looking to Colorado—an abortion care oasis—in desperation.
Abortion providers ask Supreme Court to ease pandemic-related ban
Texas and other red states have sought to restrict the procedure during the coronavirus emergency.
By ALICE MIRANDA OLLSTEIN
Abortion rights advocates asked the Supreme Court on Saturday night to overturn part of the Texas governor’s sweeping ban on abortions during the coronavirus pandemic — the first of similar restrictions to reach the high court.
Texas and several Republican-led states that have long led the legal battle to restrict abortion have sought to cut off access as the health crisis escalated in recent weeks, contending the procedure would drain medical resources. The new petition to the Supreme Court sets up a key test of how the more conservative roster of judges will address the right to an abortion established in Roe v. Wade.
Column: Republicans think guns are essential during the coronavirus lockdown. Women’s health? Not so much
By Robin Abcarian, Columnist
April 3, 2020
I will give abortion foes this: When it comes to finding new and creative ways of forcing women to give birth to unwanted babies, they are devilishly clever.
In the past few weeks, these relentless crusaders have unleashed a new war on a procedure that is safe, legal and time-sensitive.
Republicans Are Using the Covid-19 Crisis to Kill Abortion Rights
GOP governors have begun banning abortion during the Covid-19 crisis, creating a precedent that might be too cruel for conservative judges to pass up.
By Elie Mystal
Apr 2, 2020
Conservative judges, at least the kind of devoted anti-choice activists Donald Trump has nominated, would outlaw abortion rights outright, if they could. They’re waiting for the right case, and maybe the right death on the Supreme Court, in order to do just that. But in the meantime, the goal of these judges is to restrict access to abortion services to the point where women cannot practice their constitutional rights to control their own bodies, even as those rights still theoretically exist.
And these judges, and their Republican confederates, are certainly not about to let a good crisis go to waste.
Federal judges in 3 U.S. states block orders limiting abortion access over COVID-19
Caroline Kelly, CNN
Published Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Federal judges in Alabama, Ohio and Texas have blocked orders banning nonessential medical procedures from limiting abortion access during the coronavirus outbreak, a win for abortion rights activists as the fight over abortion rights intersects with the worsening pandemic.
"Because Alabama law imposes time limits on when women can obtain abortions, the March 27 order is likely to fully prevent some women from exercising their right to obtain an abortion," federal Judge Myron Thompson, from the Middle District of Alabama, wrote Monday. He temporarily halted the order, issued by the state's Health Department earlier this month, until April 13.
A Texas abortion procedure ban is unnecessary, full of theatrics and harmful to women
By The Times Editorial Board
Nov 12, 2018
No matter how often a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion is upheld by federal courts, there’s a state legislature somewhere trying to make it impossible for her to have one. The assaults on abortion rights have come in waves, as state legislatures dominated by anti-abortion lawmakers simultaneously pursue the same new legal gambits until blocked by a federal judge, at which point they change tactics and try again.
Most recently, abortion opponents have shifted from seeking restrictions ostensibly designed to protect the health of a pregnant woman — such as requiring abortion clinics to be outfitted like outpatient surgery centers, or requiring doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital — to ones that focus on the fetus. For example, Texas and a number of other states slapped tough new restrictions on the dilation and evacuation procedure, or D&E, the safest and most common second-trimester abortion, calling it a “dismemberment abortion” and describing the procedure in ghoulish detail.