A Texas abortion rights lawsuit currently pending in the Federal Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit could have an impact on women in New Mexico.
A judge is expected to make a decision on Whole Women’s Health v Paxton in the near future, according to the Center for Reproductive Rights, which is a party.
The state of Texas passed a law banning medical abortion in that state in 2017.
The medical abortion procedure, called dilation and evacuation, is the form of abortion that typically occurs after the 13th week of gestation. The Texas case would make it illegal.
The safety of medical abortion has been documented since the 1970s, according to the Guttmacher Institute’s Reproductive Policy Organization. The Institute said 11% of abortions occur after the thirteenth week, but 95% of them are a dilation and evacuation procedure.
Ellie Rushforth, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union in New Mexico, said the judge stayed the decision until the U.S. Supreme Court hears June Medical Services LLC against Russo.
Related: A ‘win’ for abortion rights on Monday doesn’t mean the fight is over, supporters say
He said the Fifth Circuit Court should wait and see if June Medical Services LLC v. Russo reportedly overturned an almost identical law passed by Texas in 2013 that the United States Supreme Court overturned on appeal in 2016. This case, Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt, and the June Medical case, involved laws in Texas and Louisiana that would require a clinic that provides abortion services to have admitting privileges to a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic.
“(The Fifth Circuit Court) could not pass the Paxton case because if Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt had been overturned, the (Fifth Circuit) judge would have had to follow a new precedent,” Rushforth said.
But the Supreme Court did not overturn Whole Women’s Health against Hellerstedt.
But Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in his opinion that he joined the majority in medical services as of June because of the 2016 Texas trial precedent. He wrote that he didn’t. disagreed with June’s argument. Medical Services and joined the more conservative dissent on Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt. Beaumont Seniors Center
“The chief justice said, ‘Bring me a new kind of ban (on abortion) and I’ll look at it,” “Rushforth said.
“That’s essentially, in its simplest form, what the Chief Justice said. “This is exactly the same law that we envisioned at the time and are bound by precedents. Bring me something new and we can think about it, “and this is something new”.
Rushforth said states are passing this type of legislation for exactly this reason:
to bring laws to the Supreme Court in the hope that the Supreme Court “will completely dismantle the standard we have” when it decides whether the ban on l State abortion is constitutional.
What’s going on in New Mexico
If reproductive rights groups lose Whole Women’s Health v.
Paxton, Rushforth said it would impact New Mexico in several ways. First, it will likely mean that women from Texas will travel to New Mexico, even during the pandemic, to have an abortion.
“Even when our neighboring states restrict and ban abortion, it forces patients to travel to get the care they need,” Rushforth said.
This isn’t the first time that a Texas abortion ban has sent people living in Texas to travel to New Mexico for the procedure. Texas Governor Greg Abbott banned abortion as part of his emergency public health orders for COVID-19 in March.
Related: As Pandemic Continues, Abortion Groups Feel Greater Tension
Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains told NM Political Report in an email that Abbott “had used COVID-19 to advance his political agenda to make abortion legal and safe in Texas almost inaccessible.” Although abortion rights groups have challenged the ban, the issue was not fully resolved until Abbott’s public health order expired in late April.
“Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains Health Centers saw a more than tenfold increase in abortion care (for) patients who came to us from Texas. We have therefore already seen what the outcome of this case could be (Whole Women’s Health v. Paxton): an identical dynamic, which forces