A Texas judge has temporarily reinstated a law banning most abortions, just a day after clinics race to serve patients again for the first time since early September.
A one-page order by the 5th US Court of Appeals temporarily reinstated the country’s strictest abortion law, known as Senate Bill 8, which prohibits abortion when a fetal heartbeat is detected. Prohibits – usually about six weeks.
Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which represents many of the Texas clinics that have resumed normal abortion services, said: “Patients are being thrown back into a state of chaos and fear.”
She called on the US Supreme Court to “step in and stop this madness.”
At six weeks pregnant, it is normal that women will not notice any physical changes in their bodies. Many may not yet know that they are pregnant.
Most abortions are performed in England, Scotland and Wales. before 24 weeks of pregnancy, and sometimes beyond that in limited circumstances.
Texan law also makes no exceptions in cases of rape or incest.
A handful of clinics prepared themselves for the New Orleans-based appeals court to act swiftly, and quickly opened their doors to begin performing abortions immediately beyond the six-week limit.
The harsh law was suspended on Wednesday by US District Judge Robert Pittman, the appointee of former President Barack Obama, calling it an “aggressive deprivation” of the constitutional right to abortion.
But barely 48 hours passed when the appeals court accepted Texas’ request to set aside Judge Pittman’s decision — at least for now — pending further arguments. The Biden administration, which brought the lawsuit, has been given until Tuesday to respond.
“Good news tonight,” tweeted Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. “I will fight federal encroachment at every turn.”
— Attorney General Ken Paxton (@KenPaxtonTX) October 9, 2021
There were about two dozen abortion clinics in Texas before the law went into effect on September 1.
Planned Parenthood says the number of patients at its clinics in the state has decreased by about 80% in the two weeks since the law came into force.
Fearing it could put them in legal hot water, many Texas doctors were unwilling to perform abortions while the law was in force.
The new law threatens Texas abortion providers with lawsuits from private citizens, who, if successful, are entitled to collect at least $10,000 (£7,350) in damages.
That novel approach to enforcement is the reason Texas was able to avoid an earlier wave of legal challenges earlier this week.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /