Abortion services in Texas were halted on Saturday after the state’s Supreme Court blocked an order briefly allowing the procedure to resume.
The court on Friday overruled an order by a Houston judge who temporarily allowed clinics to resume abortions procedures up to six weeks into pregnancy, therefore allowing the state’s preexisting 1925 abortion ban, which was struck down in 1973 after the implementation of Roe v. Wade, to resume immediately.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton had argued that the 1925 ban should be reinstated since the Legislature never formally repealed it.
“Performing elective abortions has been a crime in Texas since [at least] 1854,” Paxton’s office said. “It was a crime in 1973, when the United States Supreme Court erroneously found a right to elective abortion somewhere in the penumbras of the Constitution. And it was a crime on June 24, 2022, when that Court finally corrected its error.”
As noted by Dallas Morning News, the 1925 law states that any person who causes an abortion “shall be confined in the penitentiary not less than two nor more than five years.” While the court order did not remove the injunction against district attorneys, which prevents criminal enforcement of the ban, the order does allow abortion providers to face civil penalties, such as fines and loss of medical licenses.
Paxton celebrated the court order as a “pro-life victory,” adding: “Our state’s pre-Roe statutes banning abortion in Texas are 100% good law. Litigation continues, but I’ll keep winning for Texas’s unborn babies.”
Planned Parenthood’s multiple affiliates in the state had not resumed abortion services even after the Houston judge issued a temporary injunction allowing them to do so, according to the Washington Times. Whole Woman’s Health, which had resumed providing abortions after the judge’s ruling, began winding down abortion operations after the court’s order.
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
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