Texas Supreme Court Blocks Lower Court Ruling That Allowed Abortions To Continue

The Texas Supreme Court has given the go-ahead for the state to enforce laws that ban abortion, blocking efforts that barred the laws from taking effect after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling.

On Friday, the Texas Supreme Court allowed the state’s longstanding pre-Roe abortion ban to take effect by blocking a lower court order that said clinics could continue performing abortions.

Last Tuesday, Judge Christine Weems in Harris County issued a temporary restraining order to block the enforcement of the 1925 Texas law banning abortion unless required to save the mother’s life.

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Abortions in Texas were already restricted under the Texas Heartbeat Act or Senate Bill 8, a law that took effect in September 2021.

Weems’ order had reassured some clinics that they could temporarily resume abortions up to six weeks, roughly when a heartbeat is detectable in the unborn baby.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced on June 30 that he sought emergency relief from the Texas Supreme Court by asking it to vacate the temporary restraining order issued by Weems.

Paxton’s petition was granted, and the state has returned to enforcing the Texas Heartbeat Act. A later hearing on the case is scheduled for July 12.

Roe v. Wade enabled abortions up to 24 weeks of pregnancy across the country, but that changed last week. The decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on June 24 sent abortion regulations back to states.

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