A new Texas law banning a second-trimester abortion practice was blocked by a federal judge on Wednesday, claiming the ban puts "undue burden" on Women in the Lone Star state.
Austin-based U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel extended indefinitely the ban he issued in August for the law outlawing the second-trimester abortion procedure known as dilation and evacuation following lawsuits by Planned Parenthood and the Center for Reproductive Rights.
The judge said the provisions in the law “are facially unconstitutional” and it “intervenes in the medical process of abortion prior to viability in an unduly burdensome manner.”
Pro-life groups have opposed the dilation and evacuation procedure on the grounds that it is inhumane and brutal as doctors use surgical instruments to remove pieces of fetal tissue, the Texas Tribune reported.
Yeakel wrote in the ruling that the Supreme Court has already ruled on second-trimester abortions in the past and in all cases the court found that “the law imposed an undue burden on a woman seeking a pre-fetal-viability abortion.”
"The court concludes that requiring a woman to undergo an unwanted, risky, invasive, and experimental procedure in exchange for exercising her right to choose an abortion, substantially burdens that right,” the judge added.
The dilation and evacuation procedure is used in most second-trimester abortions, but they only constitute 10 percent of all abortions performed, Reuters reported.
The law was supposed to come into effect last September after Republican Gov. Greg Abbott signed it in June. Texas already filed an appeal to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, but the effort will likely face obstacles as four other states had already blocked a similar initiative.
The ruling follows an extensive trial earlier this month, when Texas defended the ban on “the barbaric practice” while pro-abortion groups argued that the ban puts undue burden on women seeking abortions as without the banned procedure it increases health risks.
“A five-day trial in district court allowed us to build a record like no other in exposing the truth about the barbaric practice of dismemberment abortions,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement.
“We are eager to present that extensive record before the 5th Circuit. No just society should tolerate the tearing of living human beings to pieces.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.