Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Upholds Cutting-Edge Protections for Women from Dangerous Chemical Abortion Drugs as well as Life-Saving Clinic Regulations

"An all-woman panel of judges understood that common-sense limits on abortion are both legal and desirable for protecting women from abortion industry abuses," said AUL's Dr. Charmaine Yoest.

Mar 27, 2014, 18:28 ET from Americans United for Life

WASHINGTON, March 27, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Americans United for Life President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest applauded a decision by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in which a Texas regulation of chemical abortion drugs and requirements for hospital admitting privileges were upheld, as the appeals court reversed the lower court decision in Planned Parenthood v. Gregory Abbott. "Women in Texas will now be protected from abortion industry misuse of life-ending drugs and will be provided greater protections from deadly events inside under-regulated, under-monitored and under-supervised clinics, run by profiteers," said Dr. Yoest. "I'm not surprised that an all-woman panel of judges understood the nuances of laws designed to protect women."

AUL filed an amicus brief in the case demonstrating that the Supreme Court supports regulating life-ending drugs that can harm women as well as end the lives of unborn children. The chemical abortion law was based in part on AUL's model legislation. Such legislative efforts to regulate deadly life-ending drugs are on the rise. Currently 14 states have laws regulating chemical abortion in varying degrees, while four more are exploring similar common-sense limits in 2014.

"The Fifth Circuit has affirmed the efforts of pro-life leaders in Texas who cared enough to work for common-sense protections for women," said Dr. Yoest. "We know that at least eight women have died of severe bacterial infection following their use of deadly, life-ending drugs when following abortion providers' off-label recommendations. Today's decision is a green light for other states to follow the lead of Texas and enact provisions prohibiting such misuse of dangerous abortion-inducing drugs."

Texas' chemical abortion regulation, along with a provision requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a local hospital, were part of HB 2, a Texas bill passed during a special legislative session in 2013.  Planned Parenthood challenged the provisions, and a federal district court ruled that the chemical abortion regulation posed an "undue burden" for some women.

Texas filed an expedited appeal with the Fifth Circuit, simultaneously asking that Circuit to postpone the district court's opinion and allow the laws to go into effect during the appeal.  The Fifth Circuit agreed, and the U.S. Supreme Court denied an application by Planned Parenthood to reverse the Fifth Circuit's decision.  Now the Fifth Circuit has given its final answer, upholding the state's regulation of chemical abortion and allowing Texas to protect women's health by reining in the abortion industry's misuse of abortion-inducing drugs.

AUL's amicus brief was filed on behalf of American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians & Gynecologists, Christian Medical Association, Catholic Medical Association, Physicians for Life, National Association of Pro Life Nurses, National Association of Catholic Nurses, and The National Catholic Bioethics Center.

To learn more about the health risks of abortion to women, whether surgical or chemically induced, click here.

SOURCE Americans United for Life