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October 28, 2013 5:23 PM Unraveling the Anti-Choice Bait and Switch

By Ed Kilgore

U.S. District Court Judge Lee Yeakel has blocked a central provision of a Texas abortion statute due to go into effect tomorrow, creating another path to a very likely Supreme Court review of the constitutional standards for the right to choose (or the lack thereof, some fear). As the Texas Tribune’s Becca Aaronson reports, Yeakel pushed aside the late-term abortion rhetoric and noted that new abortion provider restrictions will affect early-term and supposedly noncontroversial procedures:

In his opinion, Yeakel wrote that a provision of House Bill 2 that requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion facility “places a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion of a nonviable fetus and is thus an undue burden to her.”

In deploring the judge’s action, of course, Texas Gov. Rick Perry entirely ignored its explicit rationale:

“Today’s decision will not stop our ongoing efforts to protect life and ensure the women of our state aren’t exposed to any more of the abortion-mill horror stories that have made headlines recently,” Gov. Rick Perry said in a statement.

So the judge unraveled the anti-choice bait-and-switch and Perry promptly baited and switched once again. Typical.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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