Legality of SB 8 anti-abortion provisions argued in hearing

Abortion hearing underway

AUSTIN - The future of an anti-abortion Texas law is being argued at a federal court hearing.

Abortion rights advocates are suing the state, challenging a portion of State Senate Bill 8, which outlaws a common abortion procedure for women in their second trimester.

The state refers to the abortion as "dismemberment abortions;" the medical term for that is: "a dilation and evacuation" abortion.

Doctors say it is the safest and most common abortion for women more than 15 weeks pregnant. It involves the use of a suction and/or forceps.

The plaintiffs suing the state include: Whole Woman’s Health, Planned Parenthood, Southwestern Women’s Surgery Center and Nova Health Systems.

Two doctors brought in by the plaintiffs include: Dr. Mark Nichols with Oregon Health & Science University and Dr. Bhavik Kumar with Whole Woman’s Health.

They testified about their expertise on abortions. In their testimony they said the alternatives to a “D & E” or “dilation and evacuation” abortion are more dangerous and expensive for women.

Those alternatives include: injection of the drug digoxin, injection of potassium chloride into the fetus’ heart and umbilical cord transection.

Plaintiff’s argue SB 8's "D & E" provisions violate women's due process by putting an undue burden on them and violates their right to bodily integrity.

The judge in this case could decide to issue a preliminary injunction stopping the law's enforcement.

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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