AUSTIN — The Biden Administration is urging Texas courts to suspend a Texas law that bans most abortions from September. Clinics hundreds of miles away are still busy taking care of Texas patients who travel long distances to receive treatment.
Three days after the U.S. 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals restored the nation’s most restrictive abortion legislation. This was after a short 48-hour window in which Texas abortion providers had rushed to admit patients again following a harsh ruling by a lower court.
In the days to come, it could be crucial that we decide the future of Senate Bill 8 and whether there is another attempt by the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in.
Texas bans abortions once cardiac activity has been detected. This is typically at six weeks, before most women know they are pregnant. Other GOP-controlled states had similar bans on abortions that were blocked by courts. However, Texas’ law is durable because it offloads enforcement entirely onto private citizens. If they win, they can recover at least $10,000 in damages.
The Justice Department stated to the appeals court that “if Texas’s scheme can be allowed, no constitutional right can be protected from state-sanctioned destruction of this type.”
The Justice Department expressed concern that the legal structure that was created when the law was enacted could be used to bypass the Supreme Court’s 2008 and 2010 rulings on campaign financing and gun rights.
It is unclear when the 5th Circuit court is going to decide whether to extend the temporary order that allows the Texas law to continue. The court gave Thursday for the Texas attorney general to respond to the Justice Department’s latest arguments.
The New Orleans-based appeals court revoked the order while it examines the case. Planned Parenthood (the largest Texas abortion provider) submitted a separate file Monday night, detailing the stories of Texas women who were affected by the law. One patient was 12 years old, they claimed.
Planned Parenthood attorneys told the court that Oklahoma staff were working overtime to care Texas patients who have been denied abortions.
Texas’s law is the most significant national ban on abortion since Roe v. Wade nearly half-century ago. The Supreme Court in 1992 ruled that states cannot ban abortion before viability. This is the point at which a foetus can survive without the mother’s help. It occurs around 24 weeks into a pregnancy. Because of its unique enforcement scheme, the Texas law has not been blocked by courts.
Last month, Texas was sued by the Biden administration for violating the law. The restrictions were signed by Republican Gov. Texas officials have defended them. Greg Abbott stated in May that they are unable to prevent private citizens from filing lawsuits.