- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said his office will appeal a decision by a district court to halt the governor’s order banning most elective abortions during the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott had issued the order to prevent nonessential medical procedures from taking place in order to prevent medical supplies from running low, and the spread of the coronavirus. Other states had acted similarly.

Abortion providers challenged the order and on Monday U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel, a Bush-appointee, sided with them against the state.

“The court finds that plaintiffs have established a substantial likelihood of success on the merits of their claim that the Executive Order, as interpreted by the attorney general, violates the plaintiffs’ patients’ Fourteenth Amendment rights … by effectively banning all abortions before viability,” the judge wrote.

Two other courts also banned similar state measures to halt abortions during the pandemic in Ohio and Alabama this week.

Mr. Paxton’s office, though, said they will continue to fight in court to uphold the Texas governor’s order.

“I am deeply disappointed that the court ruled against the health and safety of Texans. My office is seeking prompt appellate review to ensure that medical professionals on the frontlines have the supplies and protective gear they desperately need. We will fight tirelessly against this politically driven lawsuit to protect the health of Texans suffering from this COVID-19 crisis,” he said.

• Alex Swoyer can be reached at aswoyer@washingtontimes.com.

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