Strict ban suspended: Clinics in Texas are again offering later abortions

After a US federal court suspended the strict ban on abortion in Texas, the first hospitals are again offering later abortions. However, it is unclear how long they can do that – because Texas wants to appeal the decision.

Following the suspension of the very restrictive abortion ban in Texas, the first clinics are resuming abortions after the sixth week of pregnancy. The Whole Woman’s Health health center, which includes four abortion clinics, said on Twitter that it would offer appropriate treatments again in line with a federal judge’s decision. “That ban harmed Texans, and now we can help them.”

Due to the restrictive abortion law, many patients had only two options, the health center said: “Carrying out a pregnancy against their will or traveling outside of the state to receive treatment.”

Meanwhile, the state of Texas announced that it will appeal the suspension. “We disagree with the court’s decision and have already taken steps to appeal immediately,” said Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton.

The day before, a US federal judge temporarily suspended the highly controversial law, which had been in effect since September 1, for a far-reaching ban on abortion in Texas. With his decision, Federal Judge Robert Pitman upheld a lawsuit brought by the administration of US President Biden. Texas law considers this unconstitutional.

Opponents of abortion hope that the fundamental judgment will be overturned

The strictest abortion law in the United States prohibits abortions from the point at which the fetus’s heartbeat can be determined, i.e. from around the sixth week of pregnancy. Many women do not even know at this point that they are pregnant. Even in the event of rape or incest, Texas law does not provide for any exceptions.

There is also outrage that it is not the Texan authorities that are supposed to enforce the new regulations, but private individuals. Citizens are encouraged to blacken people they suspect of helping women with an abortion after the sixth week. In addition to abortion clinics and their employees, this could also affect relatives or a taxi driver who has brought a pregnant woman to the clinic. Whistleblowers will receive $ 10,000 if convicted.

The Supreme Court had 1973 in its landmark judgment “Roe v. Wade” enshrined women’s right to an abortion. Opponents of abortion hope that this ruling could be overturned after Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump appointed three new constitutional judges, moving the court further to the right.

The Supreme Court rejected an urgent motion from Biden’s government against the Texas abortion law in early September. However, the Supreme Court did not cite substantive reasons, only procedural reasons.