A Federal Court Just Temporarily Blocked the Texas Pro-Life Law – UPDATE

Update (10/8/21): The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Friday night temporarily reinstated the Texas heartbeat law, pausing a lower court’s ruling on Wednesday to temporarily block it. From Fox News:

“The appeals court decision means the abortion law is reinstated pending further legal actions. In his earlier decision, [Judge] Pitman referred to the law as an ‘offensive deprivation’ of the constitutional right to an abortion…[Texas AG] Paxton told Fox News earlier Friday that he expected the appeal to succeed. The Texas attorney general said one of the strongest arguments in its favor was that the law ‘was passed by the elected representatives of the state of Texas.'”

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The Texas Supreme Court on Monday slapped down Planned Parenthood’s request to resume a lawsuit against the state’s pro-life heartbeat law. The Texas Right to Life asked the Texas Multidistrict Litigation Panel to pause 14 lawsuits against the legislation, and the request was granted.

But a federal court on Wednesday temporarily blocked the law, delivering a setback to the pro-life cause.

Governor Greg Abbott signed the heartbeat bill in May, which allows a private citizen to file a civil lawsuit against an abortion provider or anyone who “aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion, including paying for or reimbursing the costs of an abortion through insurance or otherwise” if an abortionist detects an unborn baby’s heartbeat via ultrasound.

The law became effective on September 1, and abortion advocates are doing all they can to stop it. They say the legislation conflicts with Roe v. Wade’s viability standard for killing the unborn. The U.S. Supreme Court last month declined to act on an emergency request to block it.

“The people of Texas speaking through their state legislators acted to protect unborn children with beating hearts, who are as human as you and me,” SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said about the court’s temporary injunction against the law. “The Heartbeat Act is estimated to have saved more than 4,700 babies since it took effect over a month ago. Now an unelected judge has interfered with the clearly expressed will of Texans. For two generations, the U.S. Supreme Court has tied the hands of states to enact laws protecting unborn children and their mothers. It is time to restore this right to the people and update our laws.”

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