A federal judge ordered Wednesday Texas To suspend the most restrictive abortion law in the US, which has been in place since September Most abortions banned The second most populous state in the country.

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This is the order of US District Judge Robert Pittman. first legal blow Known as Texas Law Senate Bill 8, which had so far faced a wave of initial challenges. In the weeks after the restrictions went into effect, Texas abortion providers say the impact is “exactly what we feared.”

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But despite the law’s ban, abortion services in Texas may not resume immediately because doctors still fear they could be prosecuted without a more permanent legal decision.

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Texas officials may seek a swift reversal from the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals, which previously allowed the sanctions to take effect.

law signed by republicans Government Greg Abbott In May, abortions are prohibited after cardiac activity is detected, which is usually around six weeks, before some women even know they are pregnant. To enforce the law, Texas deputed private citizens to file suit against violators, and if successful entitle them to damages of at least $10,000.

court case Biden administration, which has said the sanctions were imposed in defiance of the US Constitution.

“A state can’t ban abortion at six weeks. Texas knew this, but it wanted a six-week ban anyway, so the state resorted to an unprecedented scheme of vigilante justice that was designed to help abortion providers and others.” The intimidation was designed to help women exercise their constitutional rights,” Justice Department attorney Brian Netter told federal court Friday.

Abortionists say their fear has turned into reality in the short time since the law came into force. Planned Parenthood says the number of patients at its Texas clinics in the state has decreased by about 80% in the two weeks since the law took effect.

Some providers have said that clinics in Texas are now in danger of closing while neighboring states struggle to maintain With the increase of patients driving hundreds of miles. He says other women are being forced to conceive.

Other states, mostly in the South, have passed similar laws that ban abortions within the early weeks of pregnancy, all of which have been blocked by judges. But the Texas version has so far outstripped the courts because it leaves private citizens to file a lawsuit, not prosecutors, which critics say equates to a bounty.

Defending the law for the Texas Attorney General’s office, Will Thompson said, “This is not some sort of vigilance plan.” “This is a plan that uses the normal, lawful process of justice in Texas.”

The Texas law is just one that has set up the largest test of abortion rights in the US in decades, and is part of a broader push by Republicans nationwide to introduce new restrictions on abortion.

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court began a new term, in Mississippi’s bid in December in the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade’s ruling, which guaranteed a woman’s right to an abortion.

last month, the court did not rule On the constitutionality of the Texas law to allow it to remain in place. but abortion providers took that 5-4 votes As an ominous sign about where the court may be going after its conservative majority on abortion, the court was firm with three appointments. Former President Donald Trump.

in front of new term of Supreme CourtPlanned Parenthood released a report Friday saying that if Roe v. Wade were reversed, 26 states would have a provision to ban abortions. According to Planned Parenthood, this year alone, there have been nearly 600 abortion restrictions in state homes across the country, with more than 90 becoming laws.

Texas officials argued in court filings in the week of September 26 that even if the law was temporarily halted, providers could still face the threat of litigation over violations that could take place in the time between a permanent decision. Maybe in.

At least one Texas abortion provider has admitted to violating the law and has been prosecuted — but not by abortion opponents. Former lawyers in Illinois and Arkansas say they sued San Antonio Doctor hoping to get a judge who would invalidate the law.

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