State Supreme Court reverses expansion of abortion permissions

 June 3, 2024

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

A new ruling on Monday from the Texas Supreme Court means a lower court's expansion of abortion permissions is being rolled back.

"The Texas Supreme Court has ruled that the state's constitution and abortion law protect both a mother and her unborn child," explained Liberty Counsel founder Mat Staver after the decision.

His organization has fought on behalf of the pro-life movement in courts across the country.

"The pro-abortion industry is sowing confusion where the law is clear. Doctors can use their 'reasonable medical judgment' based on best practices to treat pregnant women experiencing a life-threatening condition. Texas law is on the side of life."

The high court ruling, 9-0, rejected claims by pro-abortion interests that the near-total state abortion ban be opened up so that they could do more abortions.

Liberty Counsel explained, "The case centers around about 20 women who say they were denied emergency abortions when their doctors were uncertain about what the state’s 'Human Life Protection Act' allowed them to do in certain medical cases. The plaintiffs, which included women and their doctors, complained the exception was 'confusing,' as well as 'unconstitutional' if the law did not allow abortion under a broader set of pregnancy complications."

A lower court had claimed that the precedent should be a "good faith belief" that there was any life-threatening issue, not the statutory "reasonable medical judgment."

The high court, however, rejected the agenda.

"Texas law permits a life-saving abortion," the ruling said. "The law permits a physician to intervene to address a woman’s life-threatening physical condition before death or serious physical impairment are imminent."

Explained Liberty Counsel "The state high court also expressly addressed the challengers’ confusion about what is allowed under the law. The court stated that any physician who tells a pregnant patient they 'may die' or suffer 'substantial physical impairment' without an abortion, and 'in the same breath,' says the law will not allow it 'is simply wrong in that legal assessment.' The court emphasized a mother need not be in 'imminent peril' or 'first suffer' impairment for doctors to intervene."

But the court ruling said, "The current law, however, plainly does not permit abortion based solely on a diagnosis that an unborn child has an abnormal condition, even a life-limiting one. An unborn child’s diagnosis must be coupled with reasonable medical judgment that the mother has a life-threatening physical condition…or serious physical impairment."

Further, the ruling noted the state's historical commitment to protecting the unborn, commenting, "The history of abortion regulation in Texas demonstrates the Legislature’s unmistakable commitment to protecting the lives of pregnant women experiencing life-threatening complications while also valuing and protecting unborn life."

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