Federal Court Temporarily Halts Unconstitutional Texas Abortion Restrictions After Legal Challenge from Center for Reproductive Rights

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(MEDIA ADVISORY) – A federal court judge today granted a request from the Center for Reproductive Rights to halt new regulations designed to cut off access to legal abortion and shame women. 

The temporary restraining order will prevent the regulations from taking effect while the Center’s litigation continues. The lawsuit seeks a permanent injunction against the new regulations, which mandate the burial or cremation of embryonic and fetal tissue that results from abortions, miscarriages, or ectopic pregnancy surgery, regardless of the woman’s personal wishes or beliefs. 

A preliminary injunction hearing has been set for January 3-4, 2017. 

Those regulations were recently finalized over the objections of women’s health organizations and the medical community. The politically-motivated rules are designed to restrict a woman’s right to access safe and legal abortion by increasing both the cost of reproductive health care services and the shame and stigma surrounding abortion and pregnancy loss.

Said David Brown, Senior Staff Attorney with the Center for Reproductive Rights:

“We are pleased that the court has prevented these outrageous restrictions from going into effect in Texas, where they would have created immediate and dangerous new barriers on women’s access to health care.

“We look forward to demonstrating that these regulations are unwise, unjustified and unconstitutional, and should be permanently struck down.”

Litigation Details


The lawsuit demands that the state halt implementation of regulations 

finalized late last month by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). The final rules disregard widespread objection from medical organizations, legal experts and others who argue that these unconstitutional new restrictions offer no public health or safety benefit.

The regulations – first proposed just four days after the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic Whole Woman’s Healthv. Hellerstedt decision in June – are in direct defiance of the high court’s ruling, which held that restrictions on legal abortion cannot impose burdens on a woman’s right to access abortion care without providing any legitimate, medical benefit.

The lawsuit was filed by David Brown, Stephanie Toti and Molly Duane of the Center for Reproductive Rights, Austin attorneys Jan Soifer and Patrick O’Connell of the law firm O’Connell &, Soifer, and J. Alexander Lawrence of the law firm Morrison &, Foerster in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas on behalf of Whole Woman’s Health, Brookside Women’s Health Center and Austin Women’s Health Center, Alamo Women’s Reproductive Services, Reproductive Services and Dr. Lendol Davis.  

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