Listen

News 88.9 KNPR
Classical 89.7 KCNV

member station

NPR
Coronavirus Live Updates

Federal Appeals Court Panel Reaffirms Texas Abortion Ban Under Coronavirus Limits

A federal three-judge appeals panel says a ban on abortions in Texas can remain in effect during the coronavirus pandemic.

The state's Republican governor and attorney general have said abortion should be treated as an elective procedure and suspended in an effort to preserve medical supplies for health care providers. Clinics in Texas have shut their doors, and patients seeking abortions have been turned away in recent days.

The ruling comes days after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a temporary order allowing the ban to stay in effect while litigation continues.

Reproductive rights groups have challenged abortion bans in several states, including Texas, that have been issued in response to the pandemic.

In a 2-1 decision, the panel of the New Orleans-based federal court said the Texas ban can remain in effect during the pandemic given "the escalating spread of COVID-19, and the state's critical interest in protecting the public health."

Support comes from

Medical groups, meanwhile, have accused Republican state leaders of politicizing the crisis, and have said abortion is an essential, time-sensitive procedure. Reproductive rights groups have vowed to continue fighting the ban, and the matter could end up before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

You won’t find a paywall here. Come as often as you like — we’re not counting. You’ve found a like-minded tribe that cherishes what a free press stands for.  If you can spend another couple of minutes making a pledge of as little as $5, you’ll feel like a superhero defending democracy for less than the cost of a month of Netflix.