U.S Federal Judge Blocks Texas Abortion Ban To Debate Legality Of Controversial Law

U.S Federal Judge Blocks Texas Abortion Ban To Debate Legality Of Controversial Law

By Alexander  Wilson –
A US federal judge has temporarily blocked the almost complete ban on abortion in Texas, in the citys first legal set back against the controversial law.

The Senate Bill 8 law is poised to challenge the legal thinking of law makers in Texas over thr divisive issue.

A mural on the side of the Whole Woman's Health of clinic in McAllen, Texas.
‘Only a few days to work with’: a south Texas abortion clinic strains under SB8’s tight deadline

Wednesday’s ruling, which stems from a challenge brought by the Biden administration, will prevent the state from enforcing the Republican-backed law while litigation over its legality is in process.

“Tonight’s ruling is an important step forward toward restoring the constitutional rights of women across the state of Texas,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in statement late on Wednesday. “The fight has only just begun, both in Texas and in many states across this country where women’s rights are currently under attack.”

People participate in the Houston Women’s March against the Texas abortion ban on 2 October.
People participate in the Houston Women’s March against the Texas abortion ban on 2 October. Photograph: Melissa Phillip/AP

The law, signed by Republican governor Greg Abbott in May, prohibits abortions once cardiac activity is detected, estimated to be six week.

The Texas law empowered  private citizens to file lawsuits against violators, and entitled them to at least $10,000 in damages if successful.

“A state may not ban abortions 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 scare abortion providers and others who might help women exercise their constitutional rights,” said Brian Netter, justice department attorney, to the federal court on Friday.

Judge Robert Pitman accused Republicans lawmakers  of contriving an unprecedented and transparent statutory scheme” to deny patients their constitutional right to an abortion.

“From the moment SB8 went into effect, women have been unlawfully prevented from exercising control over their lives in ways that are protected by the constitution,” wrote Pitman, who was appointed to the bench by Barack Obama.

A women’s march and abortion rights rally at the State Capitol in Austin, Texas, in October.
A women’s march and abortion rights rally at the State Capitol in Austin, Texas, in October. Photograph: Sergio Flores/AFP/Getty Images

“That other courts may find a way to avoid this conclusion is theirs to decide; this court will not sanction one more.

While the law prohibiting abortions is put on hold, abortion ckinics have not resumed for fear of legal consequences , since the block has been emphasised to be temporary.

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