Texas supreme court defends unborn in latest ruling
Decision likely means abortion providers will end their current federal challenge to the abortion law.
In an anticipated ruling by the Texas Supreme Court, abortion providers were told Friday that medical and state officials do not have any power to enforce directly or indirectly Senate Bill 8, a law enacted Sept. 1 that bans abortion after approximately six weeks.
This decision likely ends their current federal challenge to the state’s new abortion ban.
The high court was called upon by the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to certify a question saying it was a matter of state law. The case Whole Woman’s Health vs. Jackson received a ruling from the U.S Supreme Court on Dec. 10 limiting who they could sue significantly and allowing this limited challenge to proceed.
The state’s high court heard oral arguments on Feb. 24.
“If we adopt the solicitor general’s reading, seems like we would allay all of your concerns, and you’re working really hard to make us do the opposite,” Justice Evan Young said to Marc Hearron, the attorney for Center for Reproductive Rights, the group that is representing Texas abortion providers.
Since the law was enacted, abortions in the state fell dramatically, the Dallas Morning News reported in February. However, researchers at the University of Texas released a study of the surrounding states that shows that nearly 1,400 women are obtaining abortions outside the state since the implementation of the law.
“This answer likely ends the current federal court challenge to SB8, because this was the only remaining piece of the law still in the case after the Supreme Court’s ruling,” said David Coale, an appellate lawyer in Dallas.
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