Texas Abortion Law Suspended By Federal Judge

Written by on October 7, 2021

A federal judge has suspended Texas’ abortion law which came into effect in September, and bans all abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.

 

SB-8, as the law is popularly called, bans abortion once fetal heartbeat is detectable, and does not allow exceptions for cases of rape or incest.

 

In what the US deputy Attorney General, Brian Netter has called “vigilante justice”, SB-8 allows private individuals to sue a person who has assisted a woman in procuring an abortion. If successful, such individual is entitled to damages to the tune of $10,000.

 

The law has been criticized by the many as a violation of precedent laid by the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, which guarantees a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy until the foetus is viable outside the womb, at around 22 weeks of pregnancy.

 

Shortly after the law went into effect, the US President Joe Biden’s administration asked a federal judge to block the new law, stating that it was “designed to outflank the federal government and to violate the constitution.”

 

The suspension by US district Judge Robert Pitman was ordered on Wednesday, October 6, 2021, based on the ground that the law was an “offensive deprivation” of a constitutional right.

 

In the ruling, Pitman stated that “A person’s right under the Constitution to choose to obtain an abortion prior to fetal viability is well established.”

 

“From the moment S.B. 8 went into effect, women have been unlawfully prevented from exercising control over their lives in ways that are protected by the Constitution. 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,” he wrote.

 

The law, which was first challenged in the US Supreme court, was allowed to go into effect when the predominantly conservative judges refrained from intervening due to “novel” procedural issues in the law.



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