Texas abortion businesses are so desperate to sell more abortions that they have asked the Supreme Court to order a federal appeals court to speed up its decision-making process in their lawsuit against the Texas abortion ban so they can kill more babies sooner.
Today is the 126th day the Texas heartbeat law has been in place protecting babies from abortions when their hearts begin beating.
The high court ruled that the Texas abortion businesses challenging the law can continue with their lawsuit, but the good news was the Texas abortion ban remained on the books and will continue protecting babies from abortion whose hearts have begun beating.
Then the Supreme Court dealt another blow to the Texas abortion industry by sending its lawsuit against the state heartbeat law back to a federal appeals court that previously allowed the legislation to go into effect. The Fifh Circuit Court of Appeals has already sided with the state multiple times in the long and complex lawsuit against the abortion ban and abortion companies are concerned the appeals court will drag its heels in the case, so they’re asking the Supreme Court to order the appeals court to speed up the process and want SCOTUS to order the Fifth Circuit to send their case to a federal district court in an attempt to avoid a delay in its resolution.
The plaintiffs argue in their petition that without intervention the case could drag on for several more weeks or months than necessary, because the Fifth Circuit is “posed to entertain questions already decided by the Court in direct violation of this Court’s mandate.”
Less than a month ago, the justices issued a narrow ruling in the abortion providers’ favor, allowing their case to proceed but only against medical licensing officials in the state. Following that opinion, the plaintiffs asked for the case to be remanded directly to the district court on an expedited basis instead of abiding by the normal 25-day waiting period. Instead, the court remanded the case to the Fifth Circuit for further proceedings.
The defendants then asked that the Fifth Circuit to certify to the Texas Supreme Court the question of whether licensing officials had the authority to discipline doctors who violated SB 8. They also asked for a briefing schedule to be set to resolve some remaining issues in the case. A divided panel of the Fifth Circuit decided there needed to be oral arguments before a ruling could be issued on the defendants’ request, and scheduled them for Jan. 7.
The abortion providers are now asking the Supreme Court to act quickly to get the case out of the Fifth Circuit and sent down to the district court. In their motion to expedite, the plaintiffs requested that the defendants be directed to file their opposition by Wednesday.
Texas abortion businesses are admitting a likely defeat as well. They essentially have no way to stop Texas citizens and pro-life groups from filing lawsuits against them, abortionists and abortion center staff who help abort unborn babies in violation the law.
And if the law remains in effect much longer, many Texas abortion businesses may close. According to the Texas Tribune:
Amy Hagstrom Miller, president of Whole Woman’s Health, which operates four clinics in Texas and is the lead plaintiff in the providers’ lawsuit, warned last week that the current volume of services is not enough to keep clinics open in the long term.
“Staying open is not sustainable if this ban stays in effect much longer,” Hagstrom Miller said. “We are grateful for the donors and foundations and folks who have been supporting us in the interim … but the future looks bleak if we can’t get some justice here.”
Ultimately, the abortion businesses’ legal challenge appears to be “doomed,” the report concluded.
And that’s great news for unborn babies. A new study found that, in just the first month of the law, abortions in Texas went down 50 percent. Since then, Texas abortion facility directors have reported even bigger drops in their abortion numbers, as high as 80 percent compared to the previous year, according to the Texas Tribune.
The heartbeat law has the potential to save tens of thousands of unborn babies from abortion every year. In 2020, about 54,000 unborn babies were aborted in Texas, and about 85 percent happened after six weeks of pregnancy, according to state health statistics.
Meanwhile, pro-life advocates are reaching out to pregnant women across Texas with compassion and understanding, offering resources and emotional support to help them and their babies. Earlier this year, state lawmakers increased support for pregnant and parenting mothers and babies, ensuring that they have resources to choose life for their babies.
Texas Right to Life encouraged women seeking pregnancy help to visit its website for a list of resources. Find it here.
Polls show Americans support heartbeat laws. An April poll by the University of Texas-Austin found that 49 percent of Texans support making abortions illegal after six weeks of pregnancy, while 41 percent oppose it. In 2019, a national Hill-HarrisX survey also found that 55 percent of voters said they do not think laws banning abortions after six weeks – when an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable – are too restrictive.
About a dozen states have passed heartbeat laws to protect unborn babies from abortion, but Texas is the first to be allowed to enforce its law. Whether the law will remain in effect or ultimately be upheld as constitutional in court remains uncertain, but pro-life leaders are hopeful now that the U.S. Supreme Court has a conservative majority.
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