Texas's 'heartbeat bill', nation's toughest abortion law, reinstated
AUSTIN, Texas - Two days after a federal judge placed a temporary injunction blocking Texas's heartbeat law from continuing, a federal appeals court has reinstated the most restrictive abortion law in the US.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton broke the news over Twitter calling it "great news".
During that two-day window on the injunction, six abortion clinics in Texas began resuming abortion services, including Whole Woman's Health.
However, Senate Bill 8 is back on, and it bans abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected. This is usually around six weeks and when many women do not even realize they are pregnant.
The law also allows the average citizen the power to file lawsuits against those who violate this law and entitles them to at least $10,000 in damages if successful.
The Center for Reproductive Rights responded by calling this a cruel law that is falling hardest on minorities:
"The Supreme Court needs to step in and stop this madness. It’s unconscionable that the Fifth Circuit stayed such a well-reasoned decision that allowed constitutionally protected services to return in Texas. Patients are being thrown back into a state of chaos and fear, and this cruel law is falling hardest on those who already face discriminatory obstacles in health care, especially Black Indigenous, and other people of color, undocumented immigrants, young people, those struggling to make ends meet, and those in rural areas. The courts have an obligation to block laws that violate fundamental rights."
ACLU Texas agreed, noting how Texans have already been visiting "overwhelmed clinics outside of the state" to access abortion care:
"The Fifth Circuit has failed again to preserve a critical right that has long existed in the United States. We’ve already seen the devastation caused by allowing this extremist law to exist for a few weeks. Texans are traveling hundreds of miles to access abortion care in overwhelmed clinics outside the state. People without the money to travel will be forced to continue with pregnancies they decided not to carry. That reality will especially impact communities of color. Black women have a maternal mortality rate three times that of white women, and this law will only make that worse. Abortion is critical health care, and no one should be denied safe and legal access to it."
The Biden administration, which brought the lawsuit, has until Tuesday to respond.
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