Texas Supreme Court blocks order allowing abortions to resume

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The legal wrangling over abortions in Texas took a further turn Friday night after the state Supreme Court blocked a lower court order that had temporarily allowed proceedings to resume.

The Texas Supreme Court in Austin has granted an “emergency motion for temporary relief” sought by State Attorney General, Republican Ken Paxton, on Wednesday that prevents a lower court order from taking effect.

Texas had a century-old ban on abortion in the books for 50 years while Roe vs. Wade was in place. After the Supreme Court overturned deer on June 24, Paxton posted that prosecutors can now enforce the 1925 law, which he called “100% good law” on Twitter. However, abortion rights groups and clinics have sued, arguing that it must be interpreted as repealed and unenforceable.

On Tuesday, a judge in Harris County, Texas, granted a order until at least July 12 when arguments are programmed — allow clinics to offer abortions for at least two weeks without criminal prosecution. Judge Christine Weems (D), who holds elected office, ruled that a pre-deer the ban imposed by Paxton and prosecutors would “inevitably and irreparably chill the provision of abortions in the last vital weeks during which safer abortion care remains available and legal in Texas.”

Clinics rushed to take advantage of this fleeting respite.

Paxton then asked the state’s highest court, which has nine Republican justices, to temporarily suspend the lower court’s order. The State Supreme Court order from Friday evening allows the civil, but not criminal, application of the ban, according to plaintiffs, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Reproductive Rights.

Abortions in Texas can temporarily resume, judge rules

The wave of litigation has thrown abortion clinics and patients across Texas into disarray, with many people booking and canceling appointments and travel plans as they scramble to navigate the new legal landscape.

“These laws are confusing, unnecessary and cruel,” said Marc Hearron, senior attorney for the reproductive rights advocacy group at the Center for Reproductive Rights. said in a statement following Friday’s decision.

The American Civil Liberties Union, also a party to the legal proceedings, said it “will continue to fight to ensure that as many people as possible, for as long as possible, can access the essential reproductive health care they need.” need”.

Texas had strict abortion laws in place even before Roe vs. Wade was overthrown. Last year, Governor Greg Abbott (right) signed into law Texas Senate Bill 8, also known as the Texas Heartbeat Act, which bans abortion after around six weeks of pregnancy – even before many people do not know they are pregnant – with no exceptions for victims of rape, sexual abuse or incest. He also used a new legal strategy that empowered ordinary people to enforce the law by prosecuting anyone who might have helped facilitate abortion.

This teenager from Texas wanted an abortion. She now has twins.

Tuesday’s temporary restraining order was seen by many reproductive rights advocates as a last chance for clinics to offer abortions, as Texas is one of 13 states in the country with a ‘trigger ban’. in place. The tripping ban, which was preemptively designed to be applied in case deer has been invalidated, should come into force in the coming weeks.

Shayna Jacobs, Caroline Kitchener and Meryl Kornfield contributed to this report.

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