Texas judge BLOCKS state’s pre-Roe ban on abortions with two months until ‘trigger law’ enforced
Texas judge BLOCKS pre-Roe v. Wade state abortion ban by just two months until ‘trigger law’ sparked by Supreme Court ruling is enforced
- The judge’s order was in response to a challenge from the ACLU arguing that an abortion ban enacted before 1973 was “repealed and unenforceable.”
- Under the temporary restraining order, abortions in the Lone Star State are allowed to be performed up to six weeks into pregnancy, at least for now
- The 1925 pre-Roe ban ruling won’t affect the state’s “trigger law,” a law that states that abortion would be made illegal after the quashing of Roe v. Wade
- The trigger law, passed in 2021 pending the Supreme Court’s decision, will come into effect in about two months
A judge in Harris County, Texas, temporarily blocked the enactment of the state’s pre-Roe abortion ban on Tuesday.
The judge’s order was in response to a challenge from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) arguing that an abortion ban enacted before 1973 was “repealed and unenforceable.”
Under the temporary restraining order, abortions in the Lone Star State can be performed for up to six weeks during pregnancy, at least for now — the order will last until a hearing on July 12, after which the judge will decide whether it should be terminated.
The ruling on the 1925 pre-Roe Prohibition does not affect the state’s “trigger law,” a law passed by the legislature stating that abortion would be made illegal after the annulment of Roe v. Wade. The trigger law, passed in 2021 ahead of the Supreme Court’s decision, will come into effect in about two months.
The pre-Roe ban states that those who perform abortion procedures can be punished with two to five years in prison. The law was never taken off the books, but Texas stopped enforcing it after Roe v. Wade legalized abortions to about 20 weeks.
Attorney General Ken Paxton explained last week that the law would ban abortion 30 days after the Supreme Court overthrows Roe. And although the court ruled on Friday, the official ruling is not expected for 25 days.
Attorney General Ken Paxton explained last week that the law would ban abortion 30 days after the Supreme Court overthrows Roe. And although the court issued its opinion on Friday, the official ruling is not expected for 25 days
Abortion rights protesters gather at a reproductive freedom rally at Pan American Neighborhood Park in Austin, Texas, on June 26, 2022
Law enforcement officers separate protesters at a reproductive freedom rally at Pan American Neighborhood Park on June 26, 2022 in Austin, Texas
At the time, Paxton said providers could still face criminal charges because the state would begin enforcing the nearly 100-year pre-Roe ban, which blocks virtually all abortions, and is suing the ACLU and two abortion clinics to undo.
In 2021, Texas passed a law banning abortions after 6 weeks, in an effort to evade legal challenges by imposing the responsibility on individuals to sue those who help and encourage women to have an abortion.
The so-called ‘trigger ban’ on abortion at any stage of pregnancy makes exceptions only to save the mother’s life or prevent ‘significant impairment of important bodily functions’.
When the trigger ban goes into effect, women who have abortions won’t be prosecuted, but anyone who helps a woman get the procedure can, and doctors who perform abortions could face up to $100,000 in fines or life.
Last Friday, the court ruled 6-3 to enforce a 15-week abortion ban in Mississippi and 5-4 to overturn the landmark case legalizing abortion, Roe.
Meanwhile, in Tennessee, an abortion ban of about six weeks went into effect after the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals lifted its suspension in light of the Supreme Court’s decision.
On Friday, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin announced that he will seek to implement a 15-week abortion ban.
With the landmark case quashed, 13 states with trigger bans will ban abortion within 30 days. Other states have laws that have been blocked or scrapped, but without Roe, those laws are likely to come into effect.