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State of Texas
AG Paxton Comments on the Constitutionality of Texas’ Ban on Inhumane Dismemberment Abortions
Press Release
Wednesday, November 08, 2017

AUSTIN – Attorney General Ken Paxton today said the evidence and expert testimony his office presented during a five-day trial in U.S. District Court in Austin overwhelmingly demonstrate the lawfulness and constitutionality of Senate Bill 8, which bans brutal and inhumane dismemberment abortions in Texas. The law was passed this year by the Legislature, but the district court preliminarily blocked it from taking effect September 1.  

“I am hopeful the district court will find that Texas has an interest in protecting and fostering respect for human life, including unborn life, and that it will uphold the state’s lawful authority to protect the life and dignity of unborn children from barbaric dismemberment abortions,” Attorney General Paxton said. “During the trial, we demonstrated that Senate Bill 8 is lawful and constitutional, and is consistent with the respect for human life and acceptable medical ethics.” 

Senate Bill 8 reasonably prohibits live dismemberment of babies still in the womb, a ghastly procedure that involves an abortionist tearing a fully formed child apart limb by limb until its death. Dismemberment abortions are carried out on babies as old as 22 weeks but are typically performed on babies in the womb at or near 15 weeks. There is an exception in the law for medical emergency.  

During the course of the trial, Dr. Farr Curlin, a professor of medical ethics at Duke University, testified for the state that Senate Bill 8 “merely requires that the fetus be given a minimal level of respect…by keeping them from being dismembered alive.” And Dr. Anthony Levatino, a former abortion doctor, praised Senate Bill 8 because, he said, it limits “an absolutely brutal procedure in which a living human being is torn to pieces” by medical instruments. 

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