A federal judge has temporarily blocked the enforcement of Texas' abortion ban

Washington, D.C. – On Wednesday night, a federal judge blocked the enforcement of Senate Bill 8 in Texas, which made it unlawful for women to get abortions after the six-week mark of pregnancy.

A federal judge blocked the enforcement of Texas' abortion ban on Wednesday evening.
A federal judge blocked the enforcement of Texas' abortion ban on Wednesday evening.  © IMAGO/agefotostock

The temporary blocking of Texas' abortion ban comes nearly one month after the Department of Justice sued the state over the enforcement of the ban.

In the wake of the order by US District Court Judge Robert Pitman, Texas' Attorney General Ken Paxton shared on Twitter that the state has, "Already taken steps to immediately appeal it to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals."

In a 113-page ruling, US District Court Judge Robert Pitman said, "A person’s right under the Constitution to choose to obtain an abortion prior to fetal viability is well established. With full knowledge that depriving its citizens of this right by direct state action would be flagrantly unconstitutional."

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He continued, "The State contrived an unprecedented and transparent statutory scheme whereby it created a private cause of action in which private citizens with no personal interest in or connection to a person seeking an abortion would be able to interfere with that right using the state’s judicial system, judges, and court officials."

The preliminary ruling by Judge Pitman prevents judges or court clerks in Texas from accepting lawsuits in relation to the ban, and also requires the state to publish a copy of the ruling on its public website in clear terms to indicate SB-8 lawsuits will not be accepted or processed.

After news broke that the ban had been temporarily blocked, the ACLU of Texas tweeted, "#SB8 has wreaked havoc on Texans. We'll continue to fight until our right to abortion care is permanently restored."

Judge Pitman's ruling will only block enforcement of SB-8 temporarily, and it's unclear how long it will be in effect.

Cover photo: IMAGO/agefotostock

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