Texas’ new abortion law, which has made most abortions illegal in the second most populous state in the United States since September, is suspended.
The decision, which comes from a federal judge, is the first blow to the judiciary by the legislation, which has so far survived several attempts to overturn it.
– This court cannot approve that such an important right is private for one more day, affirms in the judgment of Judge Robert Pitman.
Even if the law is suspended, it is unclear if the abortion offer will be the same in Texas as before, and if so, because doctors are concerned that they could be sued without a more permanent court decision.
The decision is expected to be appealed to a court that previously allowed the law to go into effect.
Prohibits abortion in practice
The law was signed by the state’s Republican Governor, Greg Abbott, in May and went into effect in September.
In practice, it bans abortions after the sixth week, a time when many do not know they are pregnant. No exceptions are made if the pregnancy is due to rape or incest.
The Abortion Law also differs from attempts by other states to toughen abortion laws in that it leaves it up to individuals to bring civil lawsuits against anyone who contributes to and facilitates or performed abortions.
In practice, this means that both the doctor who performs the procedure and the taxi driver who takes the patient to the clinic can be sued.
Abortion providers say the law turned out as they feared.
Planned Parenthood says the number of patients at the company’s Texas clinics dropped nearly 80 percent in the first two weeks after the law took effect.
The Biden administration is trying to overturn the law
The Biden administration is leading the legal attempt to eliminate the law.
The main argument is that the law is an attack on the constitutional right of women to have an abortion.
– A state cannot ban abortions after six weeks. Texas knew this, but wanted a ban after six weeks anyway, so the state cited an unprecedented scheme designed to intimidate abortion providers and others who could help women exercise their right. Constitutional law, Justice Department attorney Brian Netter told the court on Friday.
The law can be taken to the Supreme Court of the United States.
The Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade of 1973 forms the basis of the abortion law in the United States. The Supreme Court is more conservative than in a long time, and advocates for women fear that the court will effectively outlaw abortion in the United States.
The Supreme Court begins a new term on Monday and in December will consider an attempt by the state of Mississippi to repeal Roe v. Wade. If that happens, a host of states will be ready with laws that will ban abortion.
In September, the court did not assess whether the Texas law is unconstitutional or not and left it standing. Advocates for abortion took the decision, five judges to four, as a bad sign.
Six of the nine US Supreme Court justices have been appointed by Republican presidents, after Donald Trump got three Supreme Court justices approved during his only presidency.