Texas’ 6-week abortion ban goes into effect after Supreme Court inaction

The lack of judicial intervention means that the law – which is one of the strictest in the country and bans abortions before many people know they are pregnant – goes into effect in the absence of court intervention.

The law allows private citizens to bring civil suits against anyone who assists a pregnant person seeking an abortion in violation of the ban.

No other six-week ban has been allowed to take effect – even for a period of time.

“What ultimately happens to this law remains to be seen,” CNN Supreme Court analyst and University of Texas Law School professor Steve Vladeck said. Roe vs. Wade be implemented at least for the time being.”

The case comes as judges set to rule on the constitutionality of a Mississippi law that prohibits abortions at 15 weeks in an upcoming term.

Under Texas law, abortion is prohibited when a fetal heartbeat is detected, which often lets a woman know she is pregnant. There are no exceptions for rape or incest, although there are exemptions for “medical emergencies.”

Abortion providers asked judges to block the ban, while legal challenges emerged as they argued that if it were allowed to take effect it would “immediately and catastrophically reduce abortion access in Texas,” This eventually forced many abortion clinics to close.

They argued that if the law were allowed to take effect it would have the effect of “withholding the care of at least 85% of Texas abortion patients” and would mean crimes against a broad range of people, including one individual. Lawsuits can be filed that drives their friend. To obtain an abortion, someone who provides financial support and even a member of the clergy who assists the patient.

Two hours before the ban went into effect, one of the clinics – Whole Women’s Health – reported it was providing abortions. “Our waiting rooms are full of patients,” The clinic tweeted, Saying that “anti-abortion protesters are outside, lights are flashing on the parking lot… we are under surveillance.” In another tweet, the clinic said, “This is what abortion care looks like. Human rights warriors.”

The failure to respond to the Supreme Court prompted a furious backlash from advocates of abortion rights shortly after the law came into force.

The ACLU said in a tweet, “With millions of people having access to nearly all abortions cut off, the impact will be immediate and devastating.”

novel legal strategy

In a novel legal strategy, the state legislature framed legislation to prevent government officials from directly enforcing it. The move was to make it more difficult to bring a pre-enforcement challenge because there are no ordinary government officials to be held accountable in court.

Instead, the law allows private citizens – anywhere in the country – to bring civil suits against anyone who assists a pregnant person seeking an abortion in violation of the ban.

Opponents say the law is part of a new wave of laws put forward by states hostile to abortion rights and will prompt other states to follow suit.

Lawyers for Texas officials urged judges to allow the law to take effect, saying the clinics had not shown that they would “personally be harmed by a bill that could never be invoked against them.” ”

The case comes as judges have already agreed during their upcoming term to consider a Mississippi law that prohibits most abortions at 15 weeks. Proponents of abortion rights say the Mississippi and Texas law is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, a 1973 landmark opinion that pre-legalized abortion nationwide, which occurs at approximately 24 weeks of pregnancy. Might be possible.

The clinic initially filed suit not only against Texas Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton, but against state judges and clerks in Texas with jurisdiction to enforce the law. They also targeted Mark Lee Dixon who serves as the director of Right to Life East Texas.

In short, providers said that patients “who may simultaneously scavenge resources” would be forced to attempt to leave the state, and others would be “forced to remain pregnant against their will.”

This story has been updated with additional details.


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