Texas abortion ban is back in effect after appeals court overturns federal injunction
Austin, Texas – On Friday evening, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals granted Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's request to lift the temporary federal injunction prohibiting the enforcement of the state's abortion ban.
The latest court ruling on the state's controversial abortion ban puts the law back in action, giving the Department of Justice until October 12 to respond.
Until then, Senate Bill 8 will remain in effect, disallowing abortions for those who are over six weeks pregnant in most cases – including rape or incest – unless the life of the mother is at risk.
The single page ruling failed to provide any reasoning for the court's decision to grant Paxton's appeal.
Should the Justice Department offer up a response, the court will then consider arguments from both sides.
It is in the court's power to either allow the abortion ban to stay in effect while other legal proceedings regarding SB-8 play out in court, or to allow a lower court to block its enforcement yet again.
SB-8 first went into effect on September 1, despite garnering global attention and backlash. In addition to being one of the most strict abortion laws in the US, SB-8 calls upon private citizens to sue others who seek out illegal abortions, or those who helped someone access one.
In a 113-page ruling that briefly blocked the enforcement of SB-8 last week, US District Court Judge Robert Pitman said, "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."
In response to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling, senior staff attorney at the ACLU of Texas Adriana Piñon said, "Abortion is critical health care, and no one should be denies safe and legal access to it."
Cover photo: IMAGO/NurPhoto