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Texas Supreme Court blocks order allowing abortions to resume
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Legal wrangling over abortions in Texas took a new turn Friday night after the Texas Supreme Court blocked a lower court order issued days earlier that had temporarily allowed proceedings to resume.

The Texas Supreme Court in Austin on Wednesday granted an “emergency motion for temporary relief” filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R), staying a temporary restraining order that was granted earlier this week by Harris County Court. A new hearing is scheduled for later this month.

Texas has left a nearly century-old abortion ban on the law books for the past 50 years, while Roe vs. Wade was in place. With deer overturned, Paxton said prosecutors could now enforce the 1925 law and called it “100% good law”. However, the plaintiffs argued that it should be construed as repealed and unenforceable.

On Tuesday, a Harris County judge granted a temporary restraining order until at least July 12 to allow clinics to offer abortions for at least two weeks without criminal charges, days after the Supreme Court overturned . Roe vs. Wade end a constitutional right to abortion.

Clinics that had sued the state halted their abortion procedures after the ruling, but rushed to enjoy a short-lived reprieve on Tuesday after Judge Christine Weems (D) ruled that a pre-deer the ban imposed by Paxton and prosecutors would “inevitably and irreparably chill the provision of abortions in the last vital weeks during which safer abortion care remains available and legal in Texas.”

Paxton then asked the state’s highest court, which has nine Republican justices, to temporarily suspend the lower court’s order, which they did in Friday’s ruling. The Supreme Court order allows civil, but not criminal, enforcement of the ban.

Abortions in Texas can temporarily resume, judge rules

The wave of litigation has thrown abortion clinics and patients across Texas into disarray, changing and canceling appointments and travel plans as they struggle to navigate the new legal landscape.

“These laws are confusing, unnecessary and cruel,” Marc Hearron, lead attorney for the Center for Reproductive Rights advocacy group, said in a statement following Friday’s ruling. The American Civil Liberties Union, also a party to the legal proceedings, said it “will not stop fighting to ensure that as many people as possible, for as long as possible, can access essential reproductive health care. they need,” according to staff attorney Julia Kaye.

Texas had strict abortion laws in place even before Roe vs. Wade was overthrown. Last year, Republican Governor Greg Abbott signed into law Texas Senate Bill 8, also known as the Texas Heartbeat Act, which bans abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy – even before many people don’t know they’re pregnant – no exceptions for rape victims. , sexual abuse or incest. He also used a new legal strategy that empowered ordinary people to uphold the law, prosecuting anyone who might have helped facilitate abortion.

This Texas teenager wanted an abortion. She now has twins.

Tuesday’s temporary restraining order had been seen by many reproductive rights advocates as a last chance for clinics to offer abortions, as Texas is one of 13 states in the country with a “trigger ban.” in place. The “trigger ban”, which was preemptively designed to take effect if deer has effectively been cancelled, should come into force in the coming weeks.

Caroline Kitchener and Meryl Kornfield contributed to this report


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