Appeals Court Shutters Texas Abortion Clinics A Day After A Lower Court Re-Opened Them

Chris Fox
March 31, 2020 - 5:31 pm

AUSTIN (KRLD) - Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton Tuesday applauded the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit for temporarily stopping a lower court’s decision yesterday that allowed abortion facilities alone to continue using up precious medical supplies in the midst of a pandemic. Last week, Governor Abbott issued Executive Order (GA 09), which requires all health care facilities and professionals to postpone any unnecessary medical procedures to preserve desperately needed medical supplies for the health professionals combating the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The Fifth Circuit’s temporary stay order today allows enforcement of the Governor’s Executive Order while the court continues to consider the State’s appeal.   

“I thank the court for their immediate and careful attention to the health and safety needs of Texans suffering from the spread of COVID-19. The temporary stay ordered this afternoon justly prioritizes supplies and personal protective equipment for the medical professionals in need,” said Attorney General Paxton. “The Governor’s Order temporarily halting unnecessary medical procedures, including abortion, applies to all health care facilities and professionals equally as Texans come together to combat this medical crisis.”

Abortion Rights Groups had less than 24 hours to celebrate the re-opening of the clinics before the Appeals court again forced their closure. The original lawsuit challenging the State’s non-essential surgery ban was filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights, the Lawyering Project, and Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

Statement of Dyana Limon-Mercado, Executive Director, Planned Parenthood Texas Votes

“Texans -- especially low-income people, women, and women of color-- already face numerous challenges when it comes to accessing their constitutional right to abortion and this attempt to ban abortions, while facing the hardships presented by COVID-19, is politics in its most despicable form. Planned Parenthood will never stop fighting for its patients and health centers, no matter how many times extremist politicians try to take away our rights.”

The plaintiffs will next ask the Fifth Circuit not to stay the temporary restraining order and to keep it in place as the district court planned, until the district court can hold a hearing on the plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction on April 13.