Decision Highlights Dangers of Texas Abortion Ban

The Texas Supreme Court today rejected a challenge by Texas women and physicians to the state’s near-total abortion bans, which have chilled the provision of needed medical care,  putting Texans who experience complications during pregnancy in grave danger. 

“The ruling today by the Texas Supreme Court highlights what we know: near-total bans on abortion are harmful to women, families, and communities, and endanger women’s lives,” said Skye Perryman, President and CEO of Democracy Forward and counsel for the nation’s leading medical organizations who had urged the Court to affirm the trial court’s injunction. “Texas continues to deter physicians from providing medically required and life-saving care, even when necessary to protect patients’ lives and health. This is harmful to patients, to physicians and health care professionals, and to the state’s ability to provide high-quality care and services to its more than 30 million residents. Texas, again, has substituted the expertise of medical professionals and patients’ reliance on that expertise with an extreme ideology that is harmful and deeply unpopular, all while the state continues to experience a maternal mortality crisis and ranks among the very worst states in the nation for health care. It is past time for the state’s leaders to stop their improper interference in the provision of quality and necessary medical care.”    

The case, Zurawski v. Texas, started with five women arguing the state’s near-total abortion ban laws stopped them from getting medical care for complications during pregnancies and then, as the case proceeded, has grown to include 20 women and two doctors. Last November, Democracy Forward filed a brief on behalf of the American Medical Association, the Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, the American College of Physicians, the National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health, the American Medical Women’s Association, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the American College of Chest Physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the Association of Black Cardiologists, and the American College of Preventive Medicine arguing that the Texas Supreme Court should affirm the District Court’s ruling to protect the ability of Texas physicians to provide critical care to pregnant patients in medically complex cases.

In August, a Travis County judge issued a temporary injunction that allowed Texans with complicated pregnancies to get an abortion if their doctor made a “good faith judgment” that it was necessary. That injunction was quickly suspended when the State appealed. Today’s ruling overrules the injunction and allows the Texas laws to remain in full effect. 

“We are grateful for the 20 women, the physicians, and their attorneys who continue to advocate for women, their families, and communities in the state despite facing devastating challenges to getting the care they need,” Perryman continued. 

For more information about the case and Democracy Forward, please visit

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