AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A federal judge on Wednesday ordered Texas to suspend the most restrictive abortion law in the US, which since September has banned most abortions in the nation’s second-most populous state.

The order by US District Judge Robert Pitman is the first legal blow to the Texas law known as Senate Bill 8, which until now had withstood a wave of early challenges. In the weeks since the restrictions took effect, Texas abortion providers say the impact has been “exactly what we feared.”

In a 113-page opinion, Pitman took Texas to task over the law, saying Republicans lawmakers had “contrived an unprecedented and transparent statutory scheme” to deny patients their constitutional right to an abortion.

“From the moment S.B. 8 went into effect, women have been unlawfully prevented from exercising control over their lives in ways that are protected by the Constitution,” Pitman wrote. “That other courts may find a way to avoid this conclusion is theirs to decide; this Court will not sanction one more day of this offensive deprivation of such an important right.”

But even with the law on hold, abortion services in Texas may not instantly resume because doctors still fear that they could be sued without a more permanent legal decision.

Texas officials are likely to seek a swift reversal from the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals, which previously allowed the restrictions to take effect.

The law, signed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in May, prohibits abortions once cardiac activity is detected, which is usually around six weeks, before some women even know they are pregnant. To enforce the law, Texas deputized private citizens to file lawsuits against violators, and has entitled them to at least $10,000 in damages if successful. READ MORE

Federal judge orders Texas to suspend new law banning most abortions  https://amos37.com/federal-judge-orders-texas-to-suspend-new-law-banning-most-abortions/

Josh Toupos

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