On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman issued the first legal blow against Texas' Senate Bill 8 law. This law had previously been subject to a series of challenges. Texas abortion providers have stated that the effect has been "exactly as we feared" in the weeks since restrictions went into effect.
Pitman, in a 113-page opinion took Texas to task for the law. Pitman stated that Republican legislators had "contrived a unprecedented and transparent statute scheme" by leaving enforcement to the sole discretion of private citizens. They are entitled to $10,000 in damages if they bring lawsuits against abortion providers who have violated the restrictions.
The law was signed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott signed the law in May. It prohibits abortions after cardiac activity is detected. This is typically around six weeks before most women know they're pregnant.
Pitman wrote that "from the time S.B. Pitman, who was appointed by President Barack Obama to the bench, stated that "from the moment S.B.
"That other courts might find a way out of this conclusion is theirs, but this Court will not sanction another day of such offensive deprivation.
Even with the law being put on hold, Texas abortion services may not immediately resume. Doctors still fear they could be sued and are awaiting a more permanent decision. Planned Parenthood expressed hope that the order would allow clinics in Texas to resume abortion services as soon possible.
Officials from Texas quickly informed the court that they intend to appeal the 5th U.S. decision. Circuit Court of Appeals which had previously allowed the restrictions in place.
The lawsuit was filed by the Biden administration. They claim that the restrictions were enacted against the U.S. Constitution. The order was called "a victory for women and the rule of law" by Attorney General Merrick Garland.
Since Sept. 1, the law was in force
"Texans have been denied abortion access for more than a year now because of an unconstitutional law that should never have been in effect." "The court granted us relief today, and we are grateful to the Department of Justice for moving quickly to seek it," stated Alexis McGill Johnson (President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America).
Texas Right to Life (the state's largest antiabortion group) said that the order was not surprising.
Kimberlyn Schwartz spokeswoman for the group. She stated that "This is ultimately Roe v. Wade's legacy, that activist judges bend over backwards and bend precedent, bending law to cater to abortion industry," "These activist judges will first conclude that abortion is a constitutional right, and then go backwards.