The Texas Supreme Court issued a ruling Friday which blocks most abortions from taking place in the state. The ruling overturned an earlier order from a Harris County judge that allowed clinics to perform abortions up to six weeks of pregnancy, CBN News reports.
The ruling from the Lone Star State’s highest court stays in effect until they can hear arguments regarding the state of abortion law in Texas until the state’s trigger law goes into effect. The trigger law, which bans abortion in the event that Roe v. Wade is overturned, does not take effect until thirty days after the Supreme Court issues a judgment overturning Roe v. Wade. It can take the courts months to write the judgment after they publish their opinion on a case.
Until then, Attorney General Ken Paxton believes the state should follow a 1925 law that outlaws abortion. When the Harris County judge allowed some abortions to take place, Paxton tweeted, “The judge’s decision is wrong. I’m immediately appealing. I’ll ensure we have all the legal tools to keep TX pro-life!”
Today a Harris County judge froze pre-Roe laws criminalizing abortion in TX. But w/ SCOTUS’s Dobbs decision, these laws are 100% in effect & constitutional. The judge’s decision is wrong. I’m immediately appealing. I’ll ensure we have all the legal tools to keep TX pro-life!— Attorney General Ken Paxton (@KenPaxtonTX) June 28, 2022
Abortion proponents argue that the 1925 law was repealed when Roe v. Wade was announced in 1973. Therefore, the older law should not take effect during the interim period before the trigger law. “This law from nearly one hundred years ago is banning essential health care prematurely, despite long being repealed,” said Marc Hearron, Legal Counsel for the Center for Reproductive Rights. He added that he believes it could be some time before the trigger law goes into effect, saying, “Texas’s trigger ban is not scheduled to take effect for another two months, if not longer.”
The current legal situation in Texas allows Attorney General Paxton and other state officials to enforce the abortion ban, which does not make exceptions for rape or incest, but local prosecutors don’t have the authority to enforce the law.
Paxton celebrated the Texas Supreme Court ruling, believing that it signals a major triumph for the pro-life movement. He tweeted, “Pro-life victory! Thanks to my appeal, SCOTX has slapped down the abortion providers and the district court carrying their water. Out state’s pre-Roe statutes banning abortion in Texas are 100% good law. Litigation continues, but I’ll keep winning for Texas’s unborn babies.”
Pro-life victory! Thanks to my appeal, SCOTX has slapped down the abortion providers and the district court carrying their water. Our state’s pre-Roe statutes banning abortion in Texas are 100% good law. Litigation continues, but I’ll keep winning for Texas’s unborn babies. pic.twitter.com/xgQuDtEXQu— Attorney General Ken Paxton (@KenPaxtonTX) July 2, 2022
Photo courtesy: ©Avi Werde/Unsplash
Scott Slayton writes at “One Degree to Another.”