A federal appeals court upheld a Texas law banning the most common form of second-trimester abortion Wednesday, a ruling that a lower court dubbed “an undue burden on a large fraction of women.”
The law in question, known as Senate Bill 8, was passed in 2017 but has not yet gone into effect due to legal battles, per the New York Times. It prohibits a dilation-and-evacuation abortion method, requiring doctors to use alternative methods.
A Federal District Court judge found that the 2017 law “imposes an undue burden on a large fraction of women” because it “amounted to a ban on all D&E abortions.”
Records show that “doctors can safely perform D&Es and comply with SB* using methods that are already in widespread use,” the court ruled Wednesday.
The lower court “committed numerous, reversible legal and factual errors,” per the ruling. “Accordingly, we VACATE the district court’s permanent injunction.”
Indeed, under the Texas law, doctors must first stop the fetus’ heart before performing the D&E abortion, except when there is a medical emergency. This requires dilating a woman’s cervix and removing the fetus in pieces.
In the second trimester, it is “the safest and medically preferred abortion procedure” and “results in fewer medical complications,” per a statement from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.