Abortion is illegal in Texas
US District Judge Lee Yeakel not only has the best name to say out loud in Texas, but he’s also just ruled that the Texas abortion law — that was due to go into effect tomorrow — is unconstitutional.
In an 11th hour ruling, Judge Yeakel ruled that Texas could not justifiably cite a health concern with abortion. If the controversial law had gone into effect Tuesday morning at 12:01am, it would require that women seeking abortions would have to effectively be cleared by a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion clinic in order to receive said abortion. Backwards, right? Well, that’s what Judge Yeakel ruled, saying that enacting such a requirement was “without a rational basis and places a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion of a nonviable fetus.”
The ruling is expected to be countered by so-called “pro-life” movement (re: religious nuts with too much time on their hands who think about other people’s vaginas too much), and therefore the ruling could go all the way up to the Supreme Court. Yes, you read that correctly: in 2013 we are still fighting over women’s rights to decide what happens to their own bodies. If the law had gone into effect, a staggering 22,000 women across Texas would have been left without a women’s health option.
Wendy Davis famously championed women’s rights earlier this year with an 11-hour filibuster. That move afforded her not only a groundswell of political support from otherwise afraid Texas Democrats (hey, this is Texas we’re talking about here, they’re f*cking crazy there and carry guns), but also a level of celebrity. After being profiled in September’s Vogue issue, Davis has announced she has gubernatorial aspirations, too. So if Davis gets elected governor, we might not see such backwards policies in Texas. But enough editorializing on my part!
Yeakel ruled that doctors applying chemical abortions must follow an older procedure (circa 2000) because the new law would have effectively banned a large percentage of chemical abortions. Yeakel ruled that the language of the new law “is clearly more burdensome to a woman” than the state of Texas.
Bravo, Mister Yeakel.