Health Law

Texas Supreme Court’s advisory committee supports rule allowing judicial approval of abortions for minors

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An advisory committee for the Texas Supreme Court voted unanimously Friday to support a state rule that allows judges to authorize abortions for minors without their parents’ consent.

Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Hecht had asked the group, which includes about 50 people who mostly work as lawyers or judges, to consider and make a recommendation on the measure by the end of its Aug. 19 meeting, Courthouse News Service reports.

His request came ahead of the state’s near-total ban on abortions, which begins Aug. 25 and provides only a narrow exception to save the life of the pregnant person.

Jim Perdue Jr., a member of the advisory committee, discussed medical issues that could legally lead to an abortion in Texas during the meeting, according to Courthouse News Service.

“A life-threatening condition can be a 10-centimeter tumor in my colon that’s found in a colonoscopy next week,” said Perdue, a partner at the Houston firm Perdue & Kidd, according to Courthouse News Service. “But that doesn’t mean I go to surgery in the next 12 hours. It’s identified as a life-threatening condition. But it’s not an emergency that would be equivalent of a placental abruption with active hemorrhage where the mother is losing serious amounts of blood.”

According to the Guttmacher Institute, 35 states, including Texas, have the judicial bypass procedure that allows minors to obtain approval for an abortion from the court. Courthouse News Service reports that even though few minors in Texas seek permission for abortions under the rule, legal experts have said it could be the only option for minors in the care of the state’s Department of Family and Protective Services who need an emergency abortion.

Courthouse News Service reports that the Texas Supreme Court could decide whether to adopt the advisory committee’s recommendation as early as this week.

See also: “What are abortion trigger laws, and where do they stand?” “Supreme Court allows abortion providers to sue over Texas law but keeps law intact for now” “In ‘devastating blow’ to abortion rights, top Texas court stymies suit to overturn restrictive law” “Biden administration can’t require emergency abortions, Texas lawsuit says” “Texas GOP group warns that Sidley partners could be prosecuted if the firm pays abortion travel costs”

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