US appeals court temporarily reinstates Texas anti-abortion law
Washington, Oct 8 (EFE).- A federal appeals court in the United States on Friday reinstated the restrictive anti-abortion law enforced in Texas, just two days after a lower court judge had temporarily blocked it.
The decision to reinstate the law, which came into effect on Sep. 1 and practically bans almost all abortions in Texas, was taken by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, considered one of the most conservative in the country.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a republican, had filed an appeal earlier on Friday against the decision to block the law announced by a federal district judge on Wednesday.
The appeals court did not enter into the merits of the case, but temporarily lifted the injunction against the law until the Joe Biden administration, the litigant in the case, responds to Paxton’s appeal, for which it has been given time until Tuesday.
No matter what the appeals court decides, the court is most likely to end up in the Supreme Court, which had refused to review the law a few weeks ago despite admitting that the litigants had raised serious questions over its constitutionality.
The magistrate who had blocked the law on Wednesday, Robert Pitman, said that Texas had “created an aggressive and unprecedented mechanism to deprive its citizens of a significant and well-established constitutional right.”
He added that the law “has illegally prevented women from exercising control over their lives” and that his court “will not allow this offensive deprivation to continue for another day.”
The Texas law allows individuals to file civil lawsuits against anyone who assists a pregnant woman with an abortion if they believe they are violating the ban, and offers rewards of up to $ 10,000 to each plaintiff if they win the trial.
That system has so far allowed Texas authorities to evade responsibility for law enforcement, because the burden of implementation rests on those private citizens, not the conservative leaders who pushed for the veto.
It was that loophole that allowed the law to go into effect a month ago with the Supreme Court’s approval, even though it expressly contradicts the 1973 court decision that legalized abortion across the United States, known as “Roe versus Wade.”
The Texas veto – which bans abortion from six weeks gestation, when many women still don’t know they are pregnant – is the most restrictive of the 90 that have come into effect this year in territories across the country, driven by conservative leaders in state congresses. EFE