Texas is allowed to enforce its executive order postponing most abortions after a federal appeals court on Friday reversed parts of a lower court order that allowed some abortions to continue during the CCP virus pandemic.
Earlier on Friday, the state's attorney general Ken Paxton asked the 5th Circuit Court to overturn the lower court's decision a day after the court granted the temporary restraining order that allows for some abortions to continue in the state.
Unnecessary medical procedures are defined as "all surgeries and procedures that are not immediately, medically necessary to correct a serious medical condition or to preserve the life of a patient who without immediate performance of the surgery or procedure would be at risk for serious adverse medical consequences or death, as determined by the patient’s physician," the executive order states.
A failure to comply with the order is punishable by up to 180 days in jail, a fine up to $1,000, or both, the order stipulated. The executive order was expected to end on April 21.
On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel in Austin blocked the enforcement of the executive order “as a categorical ban on all abortions provided by Plaintiffs.”
"To women in these categories, the Executive Order is an absolute ban on abortion," Yeakel wrote in the opinion. "A ban within a limited period becomes a total ban when that period expires. As a minimum, this is an undue burden on a woman's right to a pre-viability abortion."
This was the second time Yeakel had sided with abortionists in the case. On March 30, he granted another temporary restraining order to the abortionists to block the part of the executive order that affects abortions.
The second 5th Circuit's decision on Friday reverses part of that temporary restraining order.
"Having already painstakingly explained those standards in our opinion, we reiterate our holding: [W]hen faced with a society-threatening epidemic, a state may implement emergency measures that curtail constitutional rights so long as the measures have at least some 'real or substantial relation' to the public health crisis and are not 'beyond all question, a plain, palpable invasion of rights secured by the fundamental law,'" the court said.
The ruling notes that Judge Kyle Dennis dissented in part because he would not reverse any part of the district court's April 9 ruling.
Abbott said during the conference that he is considering sometime in the coming week another executive order that would reopen Texas businesses.