Three days after the 5th U.S. The Circuit Court of Appeals has reinstated the nation’s most restrictive abortion law. This was after a 48-hour window in which Texas abortion providers had rushed to admit patients again following a blistering ruling from a lower court.
The future of Senate Bill 8 could be decided by the days ahead.
Texas bans abortions once cardiac activity has been detected. This is typically at six weeks, before most women know they are pregnant. Other GOP-controlled states had similar bans on abortions that were blocked by courts. However, Texas' law is durable because it offloads enforcement entirely onto private citizens. If they win, they can recover at least $10,000 in damages.
The Justice Department stated to the appeals court that "if Texas's scheme can be allowed, no constitutional right can be protected from state-sanctioned destruction of this type."
The Justice Department expressed concern that the legal structure that was created when the law was enacted could be used to bypass the Supreme Court's 2008 and 2010 rulings on campaign financing and gun rights.
It is unclear when the 5th Circuit court would decide to extend the temporary order that allows the Texas law to stand.
The New Orleans-based appeals court revoked the order while it examines the case. Planned Parenthood (the largest Texas abortion provider) submitted a separate file Monday night, detailing the stories of Texas women who were affected by the law. One patient was 12 years old, they claimed.
Planned Parenthood attorneys told the court that Oklahoma staff were working overtime to care Texas patients who have been denied abortions.
Last month, Texas was sued by the Biden administration for violating the law. The restrictions were signed by Republican Gov. Texas officials have defended them. Greg Abbott signed the restrictions in May. Texas officials have defended them and said they cannot stop private citizens from filing lawsuits.