“The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a Texas law banning dilation and evacuation abortion (D&E) after the first 15 weeks of pregnancy, the first federal court in the nation to do so. The move comes after a federal court deemed the ban unconstitutional just last year—the reversal effectively targets the most common method of abortion used in second-trimester pregnancies.
Doctors who violate the ban will face up to two years in prison.
The law was first passed in 2017, but was blocked by court battles. A federal judge in the lower courts had previously invoked the “undue burden” test, ruling that the law would amount “to a ban on all D&E abortions.” But on Wednesday, the appeals court argued that doctors could still perform the procedure while complying with the legislation—which requires doctors to first stop the fetus’s heart by inserting a large needle into the abdomen or cervix—handing the anti-abortion movement a victory.”