A Texas federal judge has issued an order that temporarily blocks the state’s controversial ban on abortion.
The Lone Star state passed and enacted law SB 8 which contains restrictions on abortion care. The law prevents pregnant persons from terminating their pregnancies after six weeks from the date of conception.
It is completely possible that a person may not know that they are pregnant during that time frame, and might be past the point of the ban before they realize it. The law went into effect on Sept. 1, forcing providers to comply or risk being sued by the state.
It does not include exceptions for rape or incest.
The law’s broad language has been interpreted as allowing the punishment of anyone who might even help someone else obtain an abortion.
According to CNN, U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman wrote that the law he issued the order against “empowered private citizens to bring civil actions against anyone who allegedly performs, or aids and abets in the performance of a banned abortion,” in Case 1:21-cv-00796-RP.
The full ruling was 113 pages. It will preclude enforcement of the law in the state by authorities or private persons, for the time being.
“From the moment S.B. 8 went into effect, women have been unlawfully prevented from exercising control over their lives in ways that are protected by the Constitution,” wrote Pitman.
Texas immediately responded to Jude Pitman’s ruling by indicating that the state would be filing a zealous appeal of the decision. According to Politico, it was filed with the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Their response reportedly came within two hours of the news.
The abortion ban has resulted in backlash from the tech and entertainment industries. Salesforce has offered to help some employees relocate and Emmy-nominated writer David Simon, who created The Wire, has opted not to film his newest series in the state.