In a much needed victory for women in Texas, a Federal Court struck down the Lone Star State’s version of a TRAP law. Finally, a court gets that laws designed to close all but a few abortion clinics in the entire state is a constitutional barrier to women’s ability to exercise their constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy.
U.S. District Court Judge Lee Yeakel ruled based on the fact that HB2
burdens Texas women in a way incompatible with the principles of personal freedom and privacy protected by the United States Constitution for the 40 years since Roe v. Wade.
Judge Yeakel rejected the debunked Republican talking point that this law is about protecting women.
HB 2 is the most restrictive TRAP law in the country. Red states across the country have tried versions of this law to shut that whole women’s reproductive choices thing down. In the Texas version, all abortion facilities would have to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers. The purpose of laws like this is to set up standards that are impossible or financially impossible for reproductive care facilities to meet. That would force them to shut down without the legislature specifically ordering them shut down.
The reality is TRAP laws amount to sending us back to the coat hanger. Nothing about that suggests Republican lawmakers care about women’s health and safety. It comes as no surprise that Greg Abbott is expected to appeal this ruling.
This is the law that gave Wendy Davis, now the Democratic Candidate for Governor, national prominence as a strong fighter for women’s rights. Davis filibustered this blatant attack on women’s right to reproductive healthcare the old-fashioned way. She showed up, she spoke passionately in defense of women’s constitutionally protected right to have reproductive health care. None of this Republican style phoning in a filibuster from a Koch brother retreat. Despite Davis’ valiant efforts, the predominantly male Republican legislature passed this pathetic excuse for a law.
This is the second time Davis ultimately prevailed on a major legal matter over Greg Abbott. The first time Davis kicked Abbott’s posterior in the courtroom was in his attempt to gerrymander her district, and those of other Democrats, away
This is also the second ruling in as many days that a court smacked Abbott down on an unconstitutional law. Granted, yesterday’s ruling involved the Republicans’ education funding schem which violated the State constitution. This ruling smacks down Greg Abbott and his Republican buddies for violating the U.S. constitution. This ruling is the latest reminder by the courts that Texans can choose a candidate who understands that people, including women, have rights under the constitution or they can elect someone who sees constitutional law as an obstacle to fulfilling the ideology the Koch Brothers pay him to impose on the people.
This is the latest of several rulings that pushes back against the Republicans who admit they want a nation-wide ban on abortion while trying to sell laws to that end as an effort to protect women’s health.
Similar laws in Mississippi and Alabama were shut down by the courts earlier this month on similar grounds.
Bear in mind that Republicans oppose abortion in all circumstances – including cases in which the women’s life and health are at risk, rape and incest. While they claim this is based on their closely held “religious” beliefs, the argument falls apart. For one thing, if abortion is not mandatory. Women who don’t want them be it based on religious, moral or other reasons don’t have to have them. Those who insist that this about religion are, as they always do trying to impose their religious views on all women in America. Republicans also oppose birth control, which is the most effective practical way of reducing abortions because according to them women (but not men) must not be allowed to have “consequence free” sex.
Courts are sending a strong message to Republicans and their faux “pro-life” brigade that they cannot pass consequence free unconstitutional laws.
Image: Quiet Mike