After a federal appeals court rejected Biden’s latest attempt at stopping a new law that has been the country’s largest curb on abortion in almost 50 years, Texas can still ban most abortions.
The U.S. Supreme Court could soon return to Texas to review the law. It has previously allowed the restrictions to be in effect, but not ruled on their constitutionality. Texas law prohibits abortions after cardiac activity is detected. This happens usually about six weeks before most women realize they are pregnant.
The law went into effect in September. Since then, Texas women have been driving long distances to find abortion clinics in neighboring States. Some of these patients are as young as 12 years. Incest and rape cases are not exempt from the law.
Brigitte Amiri, deputy director of ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, stated that “We hope that the Department of Justice urgently appeals to the Supreme Court this order to restore Texans’ ability to access abortion care after six weeks of pregnancy.”
The Justice Department did no immediate reaction to the decision, and a spokesperson for the department had no comment on Thursday night.
A three-judge panel from the 5th U.S. decided in a 2-1 ruling. Circuit Court of Appeals granted Texas’ request for the law to be kept in place while the court case continues. This marks the third consecutive time that the conservative-leaning appeals court has sided in Texas’ favor and allowed the restrictions to stand.
Although the panel stated it would speed up the appeal and schedule oral arguments for hearings, it did not specify when.
The Texas Attorney General’s Office referred to the decision as a “testament we are on the rightside of the law”
This is yet another setback for Texas abortion providers and the Justice Department in their attempts to undermine the law. The unique structure of Texas’s enforcement leaves enforcement to the private sector has so far won the day. Any person who files a lawsuit against an abortion provider to enforce the law is entitled for at least $10,000 in damages. The Biden administration claims this amount to a bounty.
Although there were many legal challenges before and after Sept. 1’s law became effective, only one court has moved to suspend the restriction — and that was for 48 hours. Many more appointments were cancelled after the 5th Circuit swiftly reinstated the law.
Texas had approximately two dozen abortion clinics when the law was passed. Operators have indicated that some of these facilities may have to close if restrictions are not lifted.
The future of abortion rights in America is at stake. Already, the stakes are high. The new conservative majority of the Supreme Court will hear Mississippi’s attempt to repeal Roe v. Wade, which guarantees a woman the right to an abortion.
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. Texas’s version of the law has outmaneuvered courts due to its ability to delegate enforcement to private citizens.
Texas Right to Life is the largest state anti-abortion organization. It has set up a tipline to collect allegations against abortion providers, but has not filed any lawsuits. Kimberlyn Schwartz spokeswoman. She stated that the group expects the Biden administration will go to the Supreme Court next. They are “confident Texas’s life-saving efforts will prevail over these attacks.”
On Wednesday, 18 Republican-controlled state attorneys general backed the Texas law and urged the court to uphold the restrictions. They also accused the federal government for bringing this challenge.
The U.S. Attorney General Merrick Grland called the law “clearly inconstitutional” warning that it could be used as a model for other countries if it isn’t struck down.
In a Wednesday brief, the Indiana Attorney General Theodore Rokita stated that “The Attorney General does not have authority to act in any capacity as a roving revisioniser of state laws or challenge as unconstitutional any rule he disagrees with.”
More than 20 states, mainly run by Democrats, urged the lower court last month to repeal the law.