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The Texas abortion ban was reinstated Friday after the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals blocked a temporary injunction made by a federal judge earlier that week.
Senate Bill (SB) 8, the most restrictive anti-abortion legislation in the U.S., bans almost all abortions after 6 weeks of pregnancy, even in cases of sexual assault, rape, and abuse.
The injunction was ordered October 6 by U.S. District Judge Robert L. Pitman, who said the state was “pursuing an unprecedented and aggressive scheme to deprive its citizens of a significant and well-established constitutional right.”
The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals restored the enforcement of SB 8 after Texas asked the court to step into the lawsuit against the state, filed by the U.S. Department of Justice.1
During the time in which the ban was in effect, at least 6 Texas clinics resumed abortion care. Whole Woman’s Health, one of the state’s largest providers, quickly began performing abortions later than the 6-week time frame the ban is trying to prohibit.
The law will be enforced until at least October 12 when the Justice Department’s response is due. The court will then hear arguments from both sides and decide on whether to continue enforcement or once again allow temporary blockings from lower courts.
Texas attorneys asked for an emergency stay, arguing that Pitman’s order “violates the separation of powers at every turn.”
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton showed his support of the court’s decision on Twitter, writing, “Great news tonight, the Fifth Circuit has granted an administrative stay on #SB8," Paxton tweeted. "I will fight federal overreach at every turn."