(Austin) Friday night, the Federal Court of Appeals quickly allowed the reopening of a ban on most abortions in Texas, a day after clinics across the state began rushing to serve patients again for the first time since early September.
Texas on Friday called for a speedy revision of America’s most compulsory abortion law, which, until this week, banned most voluntary terminations of pregnancies.
This request sends Texas law, known as SB 8, to the Fifth Federal Court of Appeals, which previously authorized the application of these restrictions.
Even after Judge Robert Pittman suspended the law on Wednesday, many Texas doctors still refuse to perform abortions for fear of facing legal action. As a result abortion services in Texas – there were nearly two dozen clinics before the law came into force on the 1stIs September – Although the law is repealed, they do not return to their normal workout.
The law prohibits abortions in Texas as soon as heart activity is detected, usually up to six weeks pregnant. Law can only be enforced through lawsuits filed by individuals against abortion providers – an innovative approach that will help Texas escape the first wave of legal challenges.
The Texas Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton’s Office told the court that since the state does not enforce the law, it will not be “responsible” for complaints filed by “non-Texas” private citizens.
His office asked the court to take action by Tuesday.
Mr. Pitman called the law a “dangerous deprivation” of the constitutional right to abortion. The lawsuit was probably funded by the Biden Administration, which warned that other states could take similar action if Texas did not repeal the law.
Prior to Judge Robert Pittman’s 113-page order, other courts refused to stop the law, even banning abortions before some women knew they were pregnant. There are 5 of theseE The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court in September authorized the application of the law without ruling on its constitutionality.
Texas law enforcement applies only to citizens who are entitled to $ 10,000 in damages if they successfully sue not only abortion providers who violate the restrictions, but also anyone who aids abortion. Republicans enacted legislation to allow retroactive prosecution if sanctions were lifted by one court and then reinstated by another.
Judge Robert Pittman’s order was the first blow to Bill SB8, which withstood a wave of previous challenges. Within weeks of the sanctions taking effect, Texas abortion service providers said the effect was “what we feared.”
“After Act SB 8 came into force, women were constitutionally protected from having control over their lives illegally,” Pitman wrote, appointing former President Barack Obama to court.
Abortion service providers say their fears have come true since the law came into force. Planned Parenthood says the number of Texas patients has dropped by almost 80% in the two weeks since the law went into effect.
Some providers say Texas clinics are now at risk of closing because neighboring states are struggling to cope with the influx of patients who have to travel hundreds of miles to undergo abortion. Other women, however, may have to carry on during their pregnancy.
It is not known how many abortions have been performed in Texas since the law came into force. State health officials say additional reporting requirements under the law will not allow September data to be posted on its website until early next year.
A 1992 U.S. Supreme Court ruling barred states from prohibiting abortion, meaning that the fetus could live outside the womb until about 24 weeks of gestation. But the Texas version has so far defied the courts because it is left to the plaintiffs, not the prosecutors, critics say.