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partial-birth abortion

When enacting the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, the United States Congress found that moral, medical, and ethical consensus exists that the practice of performing a partial-birth abortion—an abortion in which a physician deliberately and intentionally vaginally delivers a living, unborn child’s body until either the entire baby’s head is outside the body of the mother, or any part of the baby’s trunk past the navel is outside the body of the mother and only the head remains inside the womb—for the purpose of performing an overt act (usually the puncturing of the back of the child’s skull and removing the baby’s brains) that the person knows will kill the partially delivered infant—is a gruesome and inhumane procedure that is never medically necessary and should be prohibited. See 18 U.S.C. §1531.

In enacting the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, Congress further found that rather than being an abortion procedure that is embraced by the medical community, particularly among physicians who routinely perform other abortion procedures, partial-birth abortion remains a disfavored procedure that is not only unnecessary to preserve the health of the mother, but in fact poses serious risks to the long-term health of women and in some circumstances, their lives.

In addition to this federal law prohibiting partial-birth abortions, some states have passed partial-birth abortion bans. These laws are usually located in a state’s statutes.

The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 is a federal law that prohibits a specific type of late-term abortion known as partial-birth abortion. This procedure involves partially delivering a living fetus before performing an act to terminate its life, which Congress has deemed inhumane and unnecessary for the mother's health. Under 18 U.S.C. § 1531, performing this procedure is a federal offense, except when necessary to save the life of the mother. In Texas, state law aligns with federal regulations, and Texas has its own statutes that further restrict and regulate abortion procedures, including bans on certain late-term abortions. Texas law may also include specific criminal penalties for performing prohibited abortion procedures. It is important to note that abortion laws are subject to change due to legislative actions and court rulings, so the current status should be verified with the most recent information.

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