A group in Texas has reportedly started performing abortions again after a U.S. District judge in the state issued an order blocking the new pro-life law.
According to Buzzfeed News:
At least one healthcare provider in Texas confirmed Thursday that they had resumed performing abortions for patients past week six of pregnancy, after a federal judge temporarily halted enforcement of the state’s ban on those procedures.
Whole Woman’s Health operates four clinics in Texas that perform abortions along with other healthcare services. CEO Amy Hagstrom Miller spoke with reporters on Thursday afternoon to address their operating status after Wednesday night’s court action, and said that at least some of their doctors had performed abortions for patients who already completed the state’s 24-hour waiting period in recent weeks in anticipation of an injunction that would lift the ban, even temporarily.
Miller declined to specify how many doctors had performed abortions so far or where they were located in the state, saying her organization expected to be targeted by anti-abortion activists going forward.
“Miller said that in addition to performing abortions for patients who had already gone through Texas’s waiting period, Whole Woman’s Health had also contacted patients who were past week six and had expressed interest in getting an abortion to see if they’d want to initiate that process,” the outlet noted.
As The Daily Wire reported, “A judge appointed by former Democrat President Barack Obama issued an order on Wednesday blocking Texas’ pro-life law that protects unborn babies.”
“A person’s right under the Constitution to choose to obtain an abortion prior to fetal viability is well established. Fully aware that depriving its citizens of this right by direct state action would be flagrantly unconstitutional, the State contrived an unprecedented and transparent statutory scheme to do just that,” U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman claimed in the 113-page ruling. “The State created a private cause of action by which individuals with no personal interest in, or connection to, a person seeking an abortion would be incentivized to use the state’s judicial system, judges, and court officials to interfere with the right to an abortion.”
Pitman also claimed that from the time the law went into effect, “women have been unlawfully prevented from exercising control over their lives in ways that are protected by the Constitution,” adding, “this Court will not sanction one more day of this offensive deprivation of such an important right.”
Last week, the judge heard arguments from both sides of the federal lawsuit over Texas’ new pro-life law.
As reported by The Daily Wire, the Biden administration’s Justice Department sued the state of Texas over the new law.
Texas’ Heartbeat Act effectively outlaws abortion after the sixth week of pregnancy, when fetal cardiac activity can be detected. As The Daily Wire previously reported, “The Texas law allows citizens to sue abortion providers and those who ‘aid and abet’ illegal procedures for a financial reward if the lawsuit is successful.”
As reported by NPR, “Department attorneys and lawyers for the state of Texas made their cases on Friday at a virtual hearing before Judge Robert Pitman of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas.”
“The state resorted to an unprecedented scheme of vigilante justice that was designed to scare abortion providers,” argued Brian Netter, a lawyer for the Justice Department. “So far, it’s working. Women have been left desperate, forced under sometimes harrowing circumstances to get out of Texas, if they even can.”
Texas lawyer Will Thompson said at the hearing, “I don’t think the state went to particularly unusual lengths,” as he pressed the judge to dismiss the federal government’s legal action.
Texas is planning to appeal the recent order. As state Attorney General Ken Paxton tweeted, “We disagree with the Court’s decision and have already taken steps to immediately appeal it to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The sanctity of human life is, and will always be, a top priority for me.”
The Supreme Court previously chose not to stay the new law, allowing it to take effect. The reason for the high court’s ruling was due to the law’s enforcement strategy.
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