A federal judge on Wednesday ordered Texas to suspend the new law that bans most abortions.
U.S. District Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Obama appointee Robert Pitman, called Texas’ abortion law an “offensive deprivation” in his injunction.
The “heartbeat” law effectively bans abortions in the state after 6 weeks and also gives any citizen — including those outside of Texas — the right to take legal action against anyone who “helps and encourages” termination of pregnancy after the cut-off point.
Judge Pitman chided Texas Republicans in his 113-page opinion.
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“Since SB 8 went into effect, women have been unlawfully prevented from exercising control over their lives in a manner protected by the Constitution,” Pitman wrote.
“Whether other courts can find a way to avoid this conclusion is for them to decide; this Court will not one day approve this insulting deprivation of such an important right,” he added.
The lawsuit was filed last month by Joe Biden’s Justice Department.
US Attorney General Merrick Garland last month said Texas’ new abortion law is “clearly unconstitutional” and warned other states against passing similar laws.
“The law is clearly unconstitutional under the long-standing Supreme Court precedent,” Garland said, referring to Roe v. Wade.
A federal judge on Wednesday ordered Texas to suspend the most restrictive abortion law in the US, calling it an “objectionable deprivation” of a constitutional right by banning most abortions in the country’s second most populous state since September.
U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman’s order is the first legal blow to Texas’ law known as Senate Act 8, which had endured a wave of early challenges thus far. In the weeks since the restrictions came into effect, abortion providers in Texas say the impact was “exactly what we feared.”
In a 113-page advisory, Pitman took a close look at Texas and said Republican lawmakers had “devised an unprecedented and transparent legal regime” by leaving enforcement solely to private individuals, who have the right to collect $10,000 in damages if they bring successful lawsuits against abortion providers who violate the restrictions.
Texas officials told the court they will go to the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals and ask for the order to be reversed.