Social Issues

US Court hints Texas abortion veto will remain for months

Washington, Jan 7 (EFE).- A United States federal appeals court hinted Friday it would take measures likely causing the almost total ban on abortion in Texas to remain in force for months.

Almost a month after the US Supreme Court put the controversial Texas veto into effect, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held a hearing on the measure, which prohibits abortion from six weeks’ gestation and contains no exceptions for cases. of incest or rape.

The conservative majority in the court leaned in favor of allowing the Texas Supreme Court to rule on the constitutionality of the veto, a decision that promises to cause the legislation, which went into effect last September, to remain in effect for months.

One of the three court judges who participated in the hearing even raised the possibility of not making any decision on the issue until June or July, when the US Supreme Court is expected to issue a decision that could eliminate the obligation for abortion to be legal at the national level.

“Maybe we should put this aside until the end of June and leave the hot potato to the Supreme Court,” said Conservative Justice Edith Jones during the court hearing, based in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Abortion clinics in the state asked during the hearing that the court return the case to a lower federal court, which in October had blocked the veto, but magistrates on the appeals panel rejected the proposal.

The Supreme Court has left little options for Texas abortion clinics to challenge the veto: Its ruling last month only allows them to sue medical licensing boards, but not state or court officials.

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 prohibition and offers damages of up to $ 10,000 to each plaintiff for a judgment won.

This system has allowed Texan authorities to avoid responsibility for the application of the law, because the burden of implementation falls on private citizens and not on the conservative leaders who promoted the veto.

The Supreme Court plans to decide in the middle of this year on another Mississippi law that would prevent abortion in the state after 15 weeks, in a case that could mean the end of the legal precedent set by that same court in 1973, known as “Wade Vs. Roe.”

The controversial decision of 1973 forced all US states to guarantee the right to abortion for any reason until the moment of “viability” of the fetus outside the womb, around 23 or 24 weeks of pregnancy.

In the last decade, however, numerous conservative states have passed rules that openly violate the “Roe versus Wade” parameters with the express goal of getting the Supreme Court to review and repeal that decision. EFE


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