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April 13, 2023
A district judge in Texas has issued a temporary restraining order against Texas Right to Life, blocking the anti-abortion group from suing abortion providers employed by Planned Parenthood under the state’s strict new abortion law.
Travis County District Court Judge Maya Guerra Gamble issued a temporary restraining order against Texas Right to Life, an anti-abortion group that launched a “whistleblower” website asking for tips about abortions that would be illegal under the new law, S.B. 8. The judge ruled that the medical providers faced “probable, irreparable, and imminent injury” if they were sued by the private group. The order expires Sept. 17.
The law, which took effect Wednesday, bans abortions after a heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as six weeks into pregnancy. The law also allows private citizens to bring civil suits against anyone who assists a pregnant person seeking an abortion in violation of the law [CNN].
Planned Parenthood welcomed Gamble’s ruling: “We are relieved that the Travis County district court has acted quickly to grant this restraining order against Texas Right to Life and anyone working with them as deputized enforcers of this draconian law,” Helene Krasnoff, vice president for public policy litigation and law, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement.
“This restraining order offers protection to the brave health care providers and staff at Planned Parenthood health centers throughout Texas, who have continued to offer care as best they can within the law while facing surveillance, harassment, and threats from vigilantes eager to stop them.”
But Texas Right to Life said it remained “undaunted” despite the temporary restraining order. “This lawsuit will not stop the work of Texas Right to Life,” the group’s Vice President Elizabeth Graham said in a statement to The Hill.
She added: “Estimates are that approximately 150 babies per day are being saved because of Texas Right to Life’s leadership on the Texas Heartbeat Act. Planned Parenthood can keep suing us, but Texas Right to Life will never back down from protecting pregnant women and preborn children from abortion” [New York Post].
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: CNN