Texas Supreme Court blocks executive order allowing abortion to resume


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The Texas abortion litigation took another turn late Friday after the state Supreme Court blocked a lower court order just days earlier that temporarily allowed the trial to be retried.

The Texas Supreme Court in Austin has granted an “emergency motion for a temporary relief” filed by state attorney general Republican Ken Paxton on Wednesday, staying an injunction issued by a Harris County judge earlier this week was. Another hearing in the Supreme Court is scheduled for later this month.

Texas has left a nearly 100-year-old abortion ban in its statute books over the past 50 years Roe v. calf was there. With roe down, Paxton had indicated that prosecutors could now enforce the 1925 law, which he tweeted was “100% good law.” However, plaintiffs have argued that it should be construed as set aside and unenforceable.

On Tuesday, a Harris County judge issued an injunction until at least July 12 to allow clinics to offer abortions for at least two weeks without criminal prosecution, days after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. calf to end a constitutional right to abortion.

Clinics that had sued the state halted their abortion proceedings after the ruling but rushed to use a fleeting reprieve on Tuesday after Judge-Elect Christine Weems (D) ruled that aroe The ban, enforced by Paxton and prosecutors, would “inevitably and irreparably impair the delivery of abortions in the vital final few weeks that safer abortion treatment remains available and lawful in Texas.”

Paxton then asked the state’s highest court, which is staffed by nine Republican judges, to temporarily stay the lower court’s order, which they did in Friday’s decision. The decision of the Supreme Regional Court allows the civil law enforcement of the ban, but not the criminal law enforcement.

Abortions in Texas may temporarily resume, judges rules

The spate of litigation has left abortion clinics and patients in disarray across Texas, with many people rebooking and canceling appointments and travel plans as they struggle through the new legal landscape.

“These laws are confusing, unnecessary and cruel,” Marc Hearron, senior counsel for advocacy at the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement following Friday’s ruling. The American Civil Liberties Union, also a party to the lawsuit, said it “will not stop fighting to ensure as many people as possible have access to the essential reproductive health care they need for as long as possible,” it said Associate Attorney Julia Kaye.

Texas has had strict abortion laws before Roe v. calf was overturned. Last year, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed Texas Senate Bill 8, also known as the Texas Heartbeat Act, which bans abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy — before many people even know they’re pregnant — with no exemptions for victims of rape, sexual abuse or incest. It also employed a novel legal strategy that allowed ordinary people to enforce the law by suing anyone who might have helped facilitate abortion.

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

Tuesday’s injunction 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 that have a “trigger ban.” The “trigger ban” pre-emptively designed to be enforced in the event roe was deleted, is to come into force in the coming weeks.

On June 24, the Supreme Court voted to convict Roe v. Wade, leaving abortion decisions to the states. Here’s what you need to know – and what’s next. (Video: Blair Guild/Washington Post)

Caroline Kitchener and Meryl Kornfield contributed to this report. Texas Supreme Court blocks executive order allowing abortion to resume

James Brien

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