Texas abortion ban temporarily blocked by federal judge
The judge's order will be challenged, but it is a small victory for the government and pro-abortion activists.
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Texas federal Judge Robert Pitman temporarily blocked the state's SB-8 law, which prohibits abortion after six weeks of pregnancy in the state. The decision comes after a request from the Justice Department to block the enforcement of the law.
In the warrant, Pitman wrote: “From the moment S.B. 8 went into effect, women have been unlawfully prevented from exercising control over their lives in ways that are protected by the Constitution."
It is a preliminary victory for the Biden administration, which since the Supreme Court's decision to not intervene in the law's enforcement, declared it would do everything possible to defend women's rights.
With the law now blocked, ordinary citizens will not be allowed to file lawsuits according to S.B. 8, nor will judges or court clerks be able to accept them and issue rulings while litigation of the case continues.
Today's ruling reinstates the protections of the United States Constitution for millions of people in Texas, where the abortion ban has been in effect since Supreme Court inaction allowed it on Sept. 1. For 36 days, access to abortion was decimated, and Roe v. Wade was virtually ineffective for countless in Texas. Most patients have been forced to travel out of state in search of health care or continue pregnancies against their will.
“For more than a month, people in Texas have been deprived of access to abortion due to an unconstitutional law that should never have gone into effect. Today's relief is overdue, and we are grateful that the Justice Department acted quickly to obtain it,” said Alexis McGill Johnson, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood.
From the ruling, doctors and health providers will be able to offer and perform abortions after the sixth week of pregnancy, until the 24th week, as established by federal law.
However, Texas will appeal the ruling, which was announced by a lawyer from the Texas attorney general's office. The appeal will be filed with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, considered the most conservative in the country and which has denied appeals in the past to block the law.