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Texas law restricting abortion upheld by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals

rick perry

File photo: Governor Rick Perry in Houston at a meet-and-greet eventPhoto by Joseph Earnest

by Joseph Earnest  March 29, 2014


Newscast Media HOUSTONThe law that restricts abortions in Texas that was passed and signed last year by Texas Governor Rick Perry has been upheld by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, in its most recent ruling. The ruling from the three-panel Conservative judges prompted an excited Gov. Perry to say it was "victory for life."


When the law was passed, Planned Parenthood, the organization that advocates abortion, sued at the district level, arguing the provisions pertaining to the regulation of surgical abortions and abortion–inducing drugs, were unconstitutional. The district court ruled in favor of Planned Parenthood, however on appeal, the 5th Circuit asserted that the ruling of the lower court was erroneous.


As for the dangers that await women who have abortions, during the proceedings, Planned Parenthood conceded that at least 210 women in Texas annually must be hospitalized after seeking an abortion. Witnesses on both sides further testified that some of the women who are hospitalized after an abortion have complications that require an Ob/Gyn specialist's treatment.


The 5th Circuit also appeared to admonish the district court for second-guessing the Supreme Court and said:

    "The district court’s opinion took the wrong approach to the rational basis test. Nothing in the Supreme Court’s abortion jurisprudence deviates from the essential attributes of the rational basis test, which affirms a vital principle of democratic self–government. It is not the courts’ duty to second guess legislative factfinding, “improve” on, or “cleanse” the legislative process by allowing relitigation of the facts that led to the passage of a law. Heller v. Doe, 509 U.S. 312, 320 (1993) (providing that a state “has no obligation to produce evidence to sustain the rationality of a statutory classification”)."

Furthermore, the 5th Circuit opined:

    "The court may not replace legislative predictions or calculations of probabilities with its own, else it usurps the legislative power. Heller, 509 U.S. at 319 (stating that rational basis review “is not a license for courts to judge the wisdom, fairness, or logic of legislative choices”)."

The 5th Circuit concluded that both of the challenged provisions are constitutional and therefore reversed the lower court's decision and rendered judgment in favor of the State of Texas.


The bill in question is the 2013 Texas House Bill No. 2 ("H.B. 2"), and since being signed into law, most abortion clinics in Texas have been shutting down, because the bill, together with other previously-passed bills, makes it virtually impossible for a medical practitioner to perform an abortion in Texas.


The State of Texas also believes that an infant that is just a few weeks old can feel pain when an abortion is being performed, therefore the act is criminal.

 *Click here to read or download the entire 5th Circuit's opinion. (pop-up)



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