On April 7, a federal appeals court ruled, by a vote of two to one, in favor of Texas and allowed an executive order that restricts abortion access during the coronavirus pandemic to remain in effect, CNN.com reported.
A panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals erased a lower-court opinion that had blocked the order and said it was taking the "drastic and extraordinary" step because the lower court ignored state emergency health regulations.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America Acting President and CEO Alexis McGill Johnson said in a statement, "This is unconscionable. Patients are already being forced to put their lives in harm's way during a pandemic, and now will be forced to continue doing so to get the health care they need. Abortion is essential, it's time-sensitive, and it cannot wait for a pandemic to pass."
The Center for Reproductive Rights President/CEO Nancy Northup added in the same statement, "This is not the last wordwe will take every legal action necessary to fight this abuse of emergency powers. Texas has been trying to end abortion for decades and they are exploiting this pandemic to achieve that goal."
This is the latest twist in a lawsuit brought by Texas abortion providersrepresented by Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and the Lawyering Projectto protect access to care. Plaintiffs include Planned Parenthood Center for Choice, Planned Parenthood Greater Texas Surgical Health Services, Planned Parenthood South Texas Surgical Center, Whole Woman's Health, Whole Woman's Health Alliance, Southwestern Women's Surgery Center and Austin Women's Health Center.