Monday night, the Biden administration asked again for court intervention to suspend a Texas law that had banned most abortions in September. Clinics hundreds of miles away are still busy with Texas patients who travel long distances to receive care.
Three days after the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals restored the nation’s most restrictive abortion laws after a short 48-hour window in which Texas abortion providers had rushed to admit patients again following a blistering ruling from a lower court.
In the days to come, the future of Senate Bill 8 could be decided by the people. This includes whether or not there are any other attempts at having the U.S. Supreme Court weigh-in.
Texas law prohibits abortions once cardiac activity is detected. This is typically at six weeks, before most women know they are pregnant. While similar bans on abortions have been blocked in other GOP-controlled states, Texas’ law is more durable. The state does not enforce the law and citizens can sue providers for damages up to $10,000.
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 would decide to extend the temporary order that allows the Texas law to stand.
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.
After the law went into effect, the Biden administration sued Texas. Officials from Texas have defended the restrictions that were signed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott signed the restrictions in May. Texas officials have defended them and said they cannot stop private citizens from filing lawsuits.