Overlooked in a Democrat-Gazette report this morning was an Arkansas angle in the decision by a Texas judge to temporarily stop a ban on abortions in Texas.
Attorney General Leslie Rutledge jumped into the fray on the side of an abortion ban.
The pretext for the Texas ban is that abortions divert medical resources during the coronavirus crisis, even passing out pills in a clinic setting that doesn’t require protective gear.
The judge ruled that the governor’s ban on all procedures not medically necessary was within his emergency powers. But he said Attorney General Ken Paxton had gone too far by threatening criminal penalties against those who have a different interpretation of medical necessity. Paxton declared that abortion clinic services weren’t necessary and should be banned.
“Before fetal viability outside the womb, a state has no interest sufficient to justify an outright ban on abortions,” Judge Lee Yeakel ruled.
Attorney General Rutledge, busy pursuing toilet paper price gouging (though as yet not ventilator price gouging), was one of 15 Republican attorneys general, led by Louisiana, that jumped into the case with an amicus brief to argue abortions were a waste of resources and threat to public health. A clear threat to women’s health is this gang of Republicans.
It is another appearance of the Republican attorney general traveling legal circus that intervenes all over the U.S. on hot button topics such as abortion, gay rights, unions, guns, clean air and water rules and the like.
Rutledge apparently has lots of spare time, including to significantly increase her use of public dollars to advertise herself on TV and radio in “public service announcements.” They are effectively taxpayer-financed 2022 gubernatorial campaign ads.