How a Texas Ban on Most Abortions Unfolds and What’s Next-NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Since early September, Texas has banned most abortions under a new law that has created the biggest brake on abortion in the United States in nearly 50 years.

Texas clinics and the Biden administration have spent weeks asking courts to stop the law, known as Senate Bill 8, which bans abortions once cardiac activity is detected. It is usually around six weeks, which is before some women even know they are pregnant.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland says the law is “clearly unconstitutional,” but judges have rejected both the Department of Justice and the clinics at almost every turn. On Friday, the Biden administration said it would try to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Here is a timeline of important events so far:

MAY 19: Republican Gov. Greg Abbott signs the law in a ceremony at the Texas Capitol that is closed to the press and the public. The law is enforced solely by private citizens, who are entitled to $ 10,000 in damages if they succeed in suing abortion providers.

JULY 13: Abortion clinics in Texas are suing in federal court in Austin.

AUG. 25: U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman, appointed by President Barack Obama, dismisses Texas’ efforts to dismiss the case.

AUG. 27: The 5th U.S. Court of Appeals orders the trial in Austin, which eventually causes abortion clinics to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene.

SEPT. 1: The law enters into force. Late in the evening, the Supreme Court makes a 5-4 decision that allows the law to remain in place without making a decision on its constitution. Abortion clinics in Texas say they will abide by the restrictions.

SEPT. 6: Abbott defends how the law makes no exceptions in cases of rape or incest, saying Texas would strive to “eliminate all rapists from the streets” and have swift criticism. He also erroneously claims that women have “at least six weeks” under the law to have an abortion.

SEPT. 9: The Department of Justice is suing Texas, saying the law was passed in “open defiance of the Constitution.”

SEPT. 15: Two weeks into the law, Texas abortion providers are telling a court that the impact has been “exactly what we feared.” Foreign clinics say appointments are quickly filling up as the majority of their patients now come from Texas.

OCT. 6: Pitman issues an injunction suspending the law. Some Texas clinics are rapidly resuming abortions for patients beyond six weeks, but many doctors still will not, for fear of lawsuits.

OCT. 8: 5th circuit reintroduces the law. Texas clinics cancel appointments booked within the previous 48 hours.

OCT. 15: The Ministry of Justice says it will take the case to the Supreme Court.


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