A U.S. appeals court transferred a challenge to Texas law banning most abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy to the state Supreme Court in a 2-1 vote Monday night.
Why is this important: The ruling by the US 5th Circuit Court of Appeals means the nation’s most restrictive abortion law can remain in place for the time being.
The big picture: Republican-appointed circuit judges Edith Jones and Kyle Duncan wrote that their ruling was “consistent” with that of the U.S. Supreme Court, which last month allowed the Texas law to stand.
- The legislation, Senate Bill 8 (SB8), prohibits abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, usually after six weeks, including cases of rape and incest.
- The U.S. Supreme Court did not rule on the merits of the Texas law, but the justices’ ruling cleared the way for lower courts to decide whether it is constitutional.
What they say : The Center for Reproductive Rights, which represents the clinics in the case, said in an emailed statement that the court’s latest decision was “inconsistent” with the US Supreme Court’s decision.
- He accused Texas officials of using a “delaying tactic” to prevent abortion providers “from returning to district court and getting a declaration once and for all that the ban is unconstitutional.”
- “As a result, Texans will continue to have to travel hundreds of miles to access abortion care, and those who cannot afford it will be forced to continue their pregnancies,” added Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the group. “
“There is no end in sight for this injustice that has lasted for nearly five months.”
The other side: John Seago, legislative director of the anti-abortion group Texas Right to Life, previously told the Texas Tribune, “While all of these complicated legal issues are resolved, we are already winning our victory every day. The courts have allowed this law to remain in force. effect.”