Texas AGs Office: Sue Docs, Not State, on Abortion Access

The Texas Attorney General’s Office argued this week that women in the state should sue their doctors instead of the state over a lack of access to abortion procedures, The Hill reports.

The Texas Supreme Court is hearing a case involving the state’s law banning abortions after a heartbeat is detected with exceptions only if the mother’s life is in danger. The Texas Attorney General’s Office is defending against a lawsuit brought by the Center for Reproductive Freedom on behalf of 22 women who claim that the law had forced them to remain pregnant with a nonviable fetus, which put them at serious risk.

The law imposed strict penalties, including the potential of life in prison, for performing an abortion on a fetus after a heartbeat was detected. This includes complicated pregnancies in which the fetus would not survive birth, which prompted a district judge last August to prevent the prosecution of doctors who performed abortions in cases such as these, a ruling that the Texas Attorney General’s Office appealed to the state Supreme Court.

The state argued in court on Tuesday that the language in the bill states that abortion is allowed if there is “a life-threatening physical condition aggravated by, caused by, or arising from a pregnancy” and therefore the lawsuit is unnecessary. The state also claims that these women should sue their doctors instead.

During oral arguments, Texas Attorney General’s Office lawyer Beth Klusmann responded to plaintiff’s claims that the law created a “health care crisis” in the state by saying, “If a woman is bleeding, if she has amniotic fluid running down her legs — then the problem is not with the law. It is with the doctors.”

Molly Duane, an attorney for the Center for Reproductive Rights, argued that “The last two years” since the law passed “are an aberration from a centuries-long practice in Texas that allowed physicians broad discretion over when abortion was necessary to preserve their patient’s lives.”

She continued, “The abortion bans, as they exist today, subject physicians like my clients to the most penalties imaginable.”

Theodore Bunker |

Theodore Bunker, a Newsmax writer, has more than a decade covering news, media, and politics.

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