Texas may continue its ban on the majority of abortions after a federal appeals court rejected the Biden administration’s latest attempt to revoke the restrictive law.
The 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday extended a previous order that keeping in place Texas’ Senate Bill 8, which banned abortions in the state after a heartbeat is detected, typically six weeks into pregnancy.
Effective September 1, SB 8 made no exceptions for women seeking abortions due to rape or incest, and allows individuals to sue doctors or anyone aiding or abetting in abortions being performed.
Thursday’s decision represents the third time that the appeals court, which leans conservative, has sided with Texas over the Democratic Biden administration.
But the Biden administration has not given up. A Justice Department spokesman Anthony Coley on Friday said the department will ask the Supreme Court to block the Texas law.
‘The Justice Department intends to ask the Supreme Court to vacate the Fifth Circuit’s stay of the preliminary injunction against Texas Senate Bill 8,’ Coley stated.
It was not immediately clear when the Justice Department would file the emergency application in the Supreme Court, The New York Times reported.
On Wednesday of last week, US District Judge Robert Pitman in Austin granted the request by the Justice Department, which filed a lawsuit, to temporarily block the law.
‘From the moment SB 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 a divided three-judge panel in New Orleans on Thursday of this week stayed Pitman’s ruling and reinstated the law.
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