U.S. court sends abortion law in Texas back to state and awards blows to opponents – National

Texas’ ban on most abortions is likely to remain in effect for the foreseeable future, opponents of the law said Monday night after a federal appeals court ruled not to send the case back to the only judge who has ever blocked the restrictions.

The decision by the 5th U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans means that legal challenges to stop the country’s most restrictive abortion law will next be moved to the Texas Supreme Court, which is completely controlled by Republican judges and does not need to act immediately.

Abortion clinics fear the case will now languish for weeks, if not months, and perhaps not until after the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in a Mississippi case that could roll abortion rights back across the country.

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“There is now no end in sight to this injustice, which has been allowed to last for nearly five months,” said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, who is suing the Texas law.

The Texas law, which bans abortion when cardiac activity is detected – usually about six weeks before some women know they are pregnant – has been in effect since September. Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the law and allowed only a narrow challenge against the restrictions to continue.

Abortion providers would have their lawsuit returned to a federal court in Austin, which so far has been the only one to have blocked the restrictions – though only for a few days. Instead, the conservative-oriented appellate court sent the case to the state Supreme Court instead.

Click to play video: 'US Supreme Court allows challenge to Texas' 6-week abortion ban'

The U.S. Supreme Court allows the challenge of Texas’ 6-week abortion ban

U.S. Supreme Court permits challenge to Texas’ 6-week abortion ban – December 10, 2021

Texas Right to Life, the state’s largest anti-abortion group, celebrated the decision.

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“This is good news!” the group tweeted, saying the case will now go to one with a “Pro-Life majority.”

Abortion providers in Texas have said they have been serving about a third of their typical number of patients since the law came into force. Abortion clinics in neighboring states meanwhile say they continue to experience longer waiting times for appointments due to a backlog of patients coming from Texas.

The Supreme Court last month signaled in the separate case from the Mississippi that it would roll back abortion rights and possibly overturn its landmark Roe v. Wade decision in a decision expected later this year.

© 2022 The Canadian Press


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