On Monday, a Texas judge blocked a pro-life group called Texas Right for Life from enforcing the state’s new abortion law.
The judge issued an injunction preventing the group from suing certain Planned Parenthoods, its staff, and physicians for breaking the law until at least next April when a trial on the merits of the case is set to be held.
A statement from Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Helene Krasnoff said the abortion group was “relieved that the Travis County district court has entered a temporary injunction against Texas Right to Life and anyone working with them.”
“Despite Texas Right to Life’s last-ditch attempt to get out of testifying at today’s court hearing, our providers and health care workers will now have some protection from frivolous suits as litigation against this blatantly unconstitutional law continues,” Krasnoff added.
Texas Right to Life appeared to view the ruling as a partial win because other citizens can still enforce the measure and the group was able to avoid “Planned Parenthood’s attempts to reveal the names of Pro-Life advocates with whom [they] have spoken and worked on the Texas Heartbeat Act.”
The pro-life group said in a statement:
The injunction only prevents the named parties from filing or assisting others in lawsuits against Planned Parenthood abortion clinics. Other citizens are legally authorized to sue Planned Parenthood if their abortionists violated the Texas Heartbeat Act, and Texas Right to Life is legally authorized to sue others who might aid or abet abortions. Thus, today’s ruling ultimately has no effect on the Texas Heartbeat Act or the risk the abortion industry is taking if they violate this life-saving law.
Texas’s new law bans most abortions after around six weeks of pregnancy, or when fetal cardiac activity can be detected. It also allows citizens to bring lawsuits against people involved in assisting someone in getting an illegal abortion. Several companies have spoken out against the bill and seemingly taken measures to give their employees the ability to get abortions in other states.
The Biden administration is also getting involved, announcing last week it is taking legal action against the state of Texas over the new law.
“[Texas Heartbeat Act] is clearly unconstitutional under long-standing Supreme Court precedent,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said at a press conference. “Those precedents hold in the words of Planned Parenthood versus Casey, that quote, regardless of whether exceptions are made for particular circumstances, a state may not prohibit any woman from making the ultimate decision to terminate her pregnancy before viability.”
As The Wall Street Journal reported:
The suit, filed in federal court in Austin, said the federal government “has the authority and responsibility” to ensure that Texas doesn’t deprive individuals of their constitutional rights by attempting to evade the courts. It seeks a preliminary injunction to block the law while litigation continues, as well as a permanent order that the Texas ban is invalid and unenforceable.
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