Supreme Court urged to block Texas abortion law

WASHINGTON – Abortion Providers in Texas asked the Supreme Court Monday to block a state law banning abortions in the state as early as...


WASHINGTON – Abortion Providers in Texas asked the Supreme Court Monday to block a state law banning abortions in the state as early as six weeks pregnant. The law, one of the most restrictive in the country, is expected to come into force on Wednesday.

If the Supreme Court does not intervene, lawyers for the providers have said, access to abortion in Texas could largely end.

“In less than two days, Texas politicians will have effectively toppled Roe v. Wade,” said Nancy Northup, chair of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which represents providers and other groups.

We have filed an emergency petition with the Supreme Court to block this law before clinics are forced to turn away patients, ”she said. “Patients will have to travel out of state – in the midst of a pandemic – to receive constitutionally guaranteed health care. And many will not be able to afford it.

In their demand, abortion providers wrote that the law would “immediately and catastrophically reduce access to abortion in Texas, prohibiting care for at least 85% of abortion patients (those who are six months pregnant). weeks or more) and probably forcing many abortion clinics in the end. to close.”

Texas law is at odds with Supreme Court precedents, which prohibit states from prohibiting abortion before fetal viability, at around 22 to 24 weeks. But it has an unusual feature that complicates efforts to challenge it in court.

Instead of holding state officials accountable for law enforcement, he allows private citizens to sue abortion providers and others that help women get the procedure done. This assistance may include financial assistance or accompanying a woman to a clinic.

Complainants do not have to claim a connection with those they are prosecuting. If they win, the law entitles them to damages of at least $ 10,000, as well as legal fees.

The law, the providers told the Supreme Court, “attempts to replace normal civil litigation rules and clearly established federal constitutional rules with distorted versions designed to maximize the abusive and harassing nature of the lawsuits and to make them impossible to defend. fairly”.

Removing state officials from the equation has complicated efforts by providers to challenge the law in court, as these officials are the usual defendants in lawsuits aimed at blocking the laws. Instead, the vendors also sued, among others, all trial court judges and Texas County Court clerks.

The defendants argued that abortion providers could only challenge the constitutionality of the law by violating it and raising their objections as defenses.

A federal trial judge dismissed a motion to dismiss the case and set a hearing on whether to block the law. But the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans canceled the hearing.

The challengers said they were at least entitled to a decision on whether to impose the law. If the Supreme Court does not act, they wrote, “the plaintiffs and thousands of other Texans will be deprived of their basic constitutional rights on Wednesday without ever receiving a ruling on their fully informed preliminary injunction request.”

The Texas law is one of many efforts to limit abortions enacted in recent years in Republican-controlled states. In 2021, state legislatures set the record for the highest number of abortion restrictions signed in a single year in the United States, according to the Guttmacher Institute, which compiles data on abortion statistics and supports the right to abortion.

The Supreme Court has meanwhile become more conservative and now includes three members appointed by President Donald J. Trump, who had promised to appoint judges ready to overturn Roe v. Wade. The court goes hear a major abortion case this fall regarding a Mississippi law that prohibits abortions after 15 weeks and is a direct challenge to Roe.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Supreme Court urged to block Texas abortion law
Supreme Court urged to block Texas abortion law
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