AUSTIN–Texas’ Catholic Bishops expressed disappointment at the Aug. 29 U.S. District Court ruling that voided a provision of one of the nation’s strongest pro-life laws for protecting the unborn and ensuring the health of Texas women.
U.S. District Court Judge Lee Yeakel ruled that a provision in the 2013 law that required abortion facilities to meet the health and safety standards of ambulatory surgical centers constituted an undue burden to women wanting abortions.
The bishops, however, voiced appreciation for the Texas Attorney General’s Office pledge to immediately appeal Judge Yeakel’s ruling to the U.S. Fifth District Court of Appeals. The hope is that the appeals court will overrule the lower court order and restore the protections to Texas women.
“While the Catholic Church opposes abortion, it equally values protecting and preserving the health of women, whose lives and dignity are just as precious as those destroyed by the act of abortion. Short of closing these abortion facilities, abortionists should meet the most rigorous, mandatory standards of medical inspections and regulation,” the Texas Catholic Conference stated.
“It is disappointing that the court struck down statutes that seek to protect and preserve the health of women during what is a serious invasive procedure to terminate life in the womb,” the TCC stated.
Judge Yeakel’s ruling only affects a specific portion in the law, and keeps intact provisions that required doctors who perform abortions to have privileges at a nearby hospital and to follow U.S. Food and Drug Administration protocols when administering abortion-inducing drugs. Those provisions were upheld by the court of appeals in March.
The Texas Catholic Conference is the association of the 15 Roman Catholic dioceses of the State of Texas and is the official public policy voice of the Bishops of Texas.