Abortions can continue in Texas after Judge temporarily blocks pre-Roe ban

Clinics in Texas are able to resume abortions after a district judge issued an order temporarily blocking Texas from enforcing its pre-Roe v. Wade ban on the procedure, according to SA Current, who cited the Texas Tribune.

Abortion providers submitted a lawsuit to the district court in Houston to stop Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton from enforcing “trigger laws” which would ban the vast majority of abortions. The trigger law would take effect 30 days after the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe.

The Houston judge is expected to hold hearing on July 12th to decide whether to issue permanent restraining order on “trigger laws” being enacted.

“It is a relief that this Texas state court acted so quickly to block this deeply harmful abortion ban,” said Marc Hearron, senior counsel for the Center for Reproductive Rights. “This decision will allow abortion services to resume at many clinics across the state, connecting Texans to the essential health care they need. Every hour that abortion is accessible in Texas is a victory.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton Tweeted on Tuesday: “Today a Harris County judge froze pre-Roe laws criminalizing abortion in TX. But w/ SCOTUS’s Dobbs decision, these laws are 100% in effect & constitutional. The judge’s decision is wrong. I’m immediately appealing. I’ll ensure we have all the legal tools to keep TX pro-life!”

However, Harris County Civil Attorney Christian Menefee says the language of the temporary block is unclear as to where in Texas the block applies. “It’s not entirely clear that it applies to all Texas prosecutors,” Menefee said.

As explained by David Levine, professor at UC Hastings College of Law in San Francisco, “[The restraining order] isn’t necessarily binding on Texas’ other counties.” Instead, “It would depend on how a Texas court would interpret the relationship between the state attorney general and all of those other county DA’s,” Levine said. As noted by Chron, there are currently 247 Texas counties whose district attorneys are not named as defendants in the case.




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