More Women Join Lawsuit Over Texas Abortion Law

May 22, 2023

More women have joined a lawsuit filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights against the Texas law that bans abortion unless a pregnant person’s life is at risk.

They’re joining with the five women who initially sued back in March, altogether adding up to more than a dozen who are asserting that the Texas law, as written, is not clearly defined and put their lives or their pregnancies at risk. 

Texas is among 13 states with abortion bans that theoretically allow exceptions in cases of medical emergency. However, the lawsuit asserts that the unclear language in the Texas law has led doctors to refuse to perform abortions for fear of losing their licenses, being fined up to $100,000 or facing up to 99 years in prison.

The lawsuit requests that a state court in Austin issue a ruling clarifying that a doctor cannot be prosecuted for providing an abortion if in the doctor’s good faith judgment the abortion is necessary to end a threat to the patient’s life or health.

“Our hope is that it will allow physicians at least a little more comfort when it comes to patients in obstetrical emergencies who really need an abortion where it’s going to effect their health, fertility or life going forward,” said Molly Duane, the lead attorney for the plaintiffs.

Texas banned abortion soon after the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization on June 24, which overturned Roe v Wade and the Constitutional right to abortion.

Roughly 25 Texas women so far have contacted the Center for Reproductive Rights about their experiences since the initial lawsuit was filed in March.

Many of the women describe having been thrilled to find out they were pregnant, only to have the experience turn catastrophic. Many of them say they do not have the financial resources to travel out of state to seek the medical treatment doctors in Texas wouldn’t provide for fear of prosecution. 

The Center for Reproductive Rights is looking at filing similar lawsuits in other states, with attorney Duane noting that the organization has heard from women across the country.

The Texas lawsuit was filed against the state, Attorney General Ken Paxton and the Texas Medical Board.

Paxton’s office has so far not commented on the lawsuit.

Read more exclusive news from Political IQ.

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