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Planned Parenthood, abortion providers take Texas coronavirus abortion ban to Supreme Court

Mary Margaret Olohan on April 11, 2020

Planned Parenthood and Texas abortion providers announced plans Saturday to the state’s coronavirus abortion ban to the Supreme Court.

Planned Parenthood announced in a Saturday press release that abortion providers in Texas, represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights, the Lawyering Project, and Planned Parenthood Federation of America, are asking the Supreme Court to take emergency action and restore medication abortion services in Texas.

The application comes after Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered almost all abortion services cease in the state of Texas in order to preserve personal protective equipment (PPE) to fight the coronavirus.

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the state’s right to temporarily prohibit abortions until April 21 during the pandemic after a federal district court put a temporary restraining order on the ban.

“Without this Court’s urgent intervention, the Fifth Circuit’s stay will continue to deny hundreds of Texas residents their constitutional right to obtain an abortion while exacerbating the current public health crisis, thereby inflicting irreparable harm,” the abortion providers’ emergency application says.

“The Fifth Circuit’s extraordinary decision to impose an administrative stay of the TRO plainly departs from settled principles of law and has already resulted in serious and irreparable injury,” the case continues.

“As this Court is also likely to grant review of the Fifth Circuit’s decision on Respondents’ pending petition for a writ of mandamus or ultimate judgment in this case, vacatur of the stay is both warranted and urgently needed.”

Acting Planned Parenthood President and CEO Alexis McGill Johnson said in a statement that the past few weeks “have been untenable for Texans in need of time-sensitive abortion procedures.”

“Gov. Abbott has blocked abortion access for mothers who have lost their jobs because of COVID-19, people quarantined with abusive partners, and patients with fatal fetal diagnoses,” McGill Johnson said. “Now is the time to be making abortion more accessible, not less.”

“Medical professionals everywhere are being trusted to make necessary but difficult decisions about if and when to treat patients,” Johnson added. “Doctors who provide abortions are asking to do the same — because they, not politicians, know what’s best for their patients. This is a matter of health care, not political opinion.”

Abbott has not yet responded to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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