Planned Parenthood is once again begging the Texas Supreme Court to block the Texas abortion ban, which has been credited with saving over 2,900 babies from abortion so far.
The pro-life law went into effect September 1, prohibiting abortions once an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable, about six weeks of pregnancy. Unique from other states, the Texas law includes a private enforcement mechanism that allows people to file lawsuits against abortionists who violate the law and those who help them.
Texas courts and the Supreme Court has refused its request to block the law while the lawsuit against the measure continues. But Planned Parenthood is back in court asking the state’s highest legal body to put the pro-life law on hold. It asked the Texas Supreme Court to intervene in the ongoing case against Texas Right to Life, challenging Senate Bill 8, the state’s six-week abortion ban.
Planned Parenthood says intervention by the state Supreme Court is ‘urgently and immediately needed’ because SB 8 ‘continues to cause unprecedented harm on the ground, blocking Texans from accessing their constitutional right to abortion’.
“For almost a month, Texans have been forced to either continue an unwanted pregnancy or travel hundreds of miles to access care that they should be able to get in their home state,” said Helene Krasnoff, with Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “We’re urging the Texas Supreme Court to step in and move this critical case along so we can restore access to abortion across the state.”
Meanwhile, also yesterday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton asked a federal judge Wednesday to throw out the Biden administration’s lawsuit against his state’s life-saving new heartbeat law.
Ahead of a court hearing Friday, Paxton said U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and the Department of Justice do not have the authority to sue in the matter.
Paxton told U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman that Congress has “repeatedly refused to create a broader cause of action” for the government to sue “to enforce a constitutional right to abortion,” and urged Pitman to reject the federal government’s lawsuit.
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However, the Biden administration and abortion facilities have filed multiple lawsuits to stop the law. Two weeks ago, Garland’s office asked Pitman to immediately block enforcement of the law, but the judge scheduled a hearing for Oct. 1 instead.
Garland is seeking a temporary restraining order to temporarily block the law until the courts decide whether it is constitutional, according to Bloomberg. The Department of Justice argues that the law is harming women because many cannot get abortions in Texas right now.
But Paxton said the federal government’s case is unfair to private citizens who, under the law, may sue abortionists for aborting unborn babies with beating hearts.
“The court cannot decide that absent third parties are subject to an injunction without letting them be heard,” he said.
Paxton said the state is not tasked with enforcing the law, private citizens are, so the Biden administration has no case against the state, according to The Washington Post.
However, the Biden administration argues that private citizens are really “state actors” under the law; therefore, the court can block them from enforcing it, the report states.
Pitman, an appointee of pro-abortion President Barack Obama, is assigned to the case.
CNN pointed out that even if Pitman does grant the federal government’s request for a preliminary injunction, some abortion facilities may not start aborting unborn babies again right away.
According to the report: “… under the law, a clinic could still be liable if it performed an abortion prohibited by the law while the court’s order was in effect, if that same order was later reversed by a higher court.”
The Biden administration has taken multiple actions to thwart Texas’s efforts to save unborn babies from abortion. Along with the lawsuit, it also set aside $10 million – taxpayers’ money – to provide grants to the abortion industry in Texas and make additional Title X family planning funds available to them.
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.
While abortion activists say some women are traveling to other states for abortions, they admit that others are having their babies instead.
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.
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.
On Dec. 1, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in a major abortion case from Mississippi. At issue in the case is the question of “whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortion are unconstitutional.” Pro-life advocates hope the justices will overturn Roe v. Wade and allow states to protect unborn babies from abortion again.
Since Roe, nearly 63 million unborn babies have been legally aborted in the U.S. Polls consistently show that a strong majority of Americans oppose abortions in the second and third trimesters and many support heartbeat laws that protect unborn babies at their earliest stage of life.
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