AUSTIN, Texas - Reproductive justice groups were in federal court in Austin suing Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton along with district and county attorneys.
The groups say they're being deprived of their constitutional rights and are unable to help Texans receive out-of-state abortions. They're asking the court to declare unconstitutional Texas' "trigger" abortion ban and the laws that threaten to criminalize anyone who helps Texans access legal abortion care. They say the ban and the laws violate the First Amendment.
Fund Texas Choice, Texas Equal Access (TEA) Fund, Frontera Fund, The Afiya Center, West Fund, Jane’s Due Process, Clinic Access Support Network, Lilith Fund, and Dr. Ghazaleh Moayedi are the plaintiffs.
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They're also asking for a restraining order to stop Texas officials from prosecuting them for their work, opening the door for them to fund abortions and travel for Texans who are forced to leave the state to access care.
The Texas Tribune reported that Paxton fled his home to avoid being served a subpoena in relation to this case, according to an affidavit filed in federal court.
At the court hearing, Jaylynn Farr Muson, Development and Communications Manager with Fund Texas Choice said that, "today is the first step in our fight so that we can resume doing what we've been doing for nearly ten years, helping pregnant Texans travel and access health care they need and deserve."
Abortions now almost fully banned in Texas
The law has an exception if the woman’s life is threatened or there is a risk of "substantial impairment of a major bodily function."
Treatment of ectopic pregnancies and miscarriages are not considered abortions, according to the bill language.
Senate Bill 8, which bans abortions after a heartbeat is detected, is already law in Texas. It relies on civil lawsuits for enforcement.
According to Texas Values, it is estimated that "over 53,000 lives have been saved from abortion" since that law went into effect.