AUSTIN, TX — A legal team from the state attorney general’s office on Monday urged the U.S. District Court in Austin to dismiss a lawsuit seeking to overturn most of the state’s abortion laws and regulations, calling the litigation filed by abortion advocates as “baseless.”
The rules and regulations number more than 60 designed to regulate abortion facilities much like medical sites. In a stridently worded press advisory, Attorney General Ken Paxton noted the government oversight has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in the past and noted a number of other states require such safeguards.
“It’s outrageous that these activists are so dedicated to their radical pro-abortion agenda that they want the courts to repeal laws enacted by the Texas Legislature to protect the health of women getting abortions, such as requiring the sterilization of medical instruments,” Paxton said in a prepared statement. “Many of Texas’ common-sense abortion regulations have been in place for decades, are similar to laws passed in a majority of the states, and have been upheld as constitutional by the courts.”
He called the Supreme Court upholding the laws as an affirmation of the state’s “interest in safeguarding women’s health and protecting unborn life.” Calling such laws “common-sense rules,” he ticked some of them off: Requiring abortion clinics are licensed, surgical instruments be sterilized and more complicated and dangerous late-term surgical abortions be performed in surgical centers rather than in a doctor’s office.
But advocates view the laws as onerous at best and punitive at worst, designed to shame and deter women seeking abortions while making it more difficult for health professionals to provide them. Critics point to such provisions passed by conservatives as pre-abortion sonograms and 24-hour waiting periods as evidence of this tactic.
Rejecting such views, Paxton framed the laws as aimed at “protecting the health and safety of women,” he wrote, listing a series of statistics to show other states’ similar approach at regulation:
- 40 states limit abortions to being performed only by a physician;
- 44 states have parental involvement requirements; and
- 29 states have laws requiring physicians to provide certain information to patients considering an abortion.
“My office’s solid legal arguments demonstrated that the lawsuit is attempting to use the judicial system to repeal laws that the state’s elected representatives passed to make sure women who have abortions do so with all the information they need and under conditions that are as medically safe as possible,” Paxton said. “I’m hopeful the district court will agree with us and dismiss this baseless lawsuit.”