The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has struck down a lower federal court ruling that temporarily blocked Texas from enforcing its ban on abortions as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. The Department of Justice now has until Oct. 12 to reply to the ruling, and the ban remains in effect until then. Before a lower court intervened, Texas was allowed to keep its abortion law, Senate Bill 8, in effect for roughly five weeks. In that time, providers say they were forced to turn away hundreds of people seeking abortions.
Aside from being one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country, it was also uniquely designed to evade court action. Instead of being enforced by state agencies, Texas lawmakers drafted the law to be enforced by private citizens. SB 8 allows anyone – including people who don’t live in Texas – to sue someone, who they believe provided an abortion after six weeks, for a minimum of $10,000 in damages.
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BREAKING: A federal appeals court has temporarily reinstated the Texas abortion ban.
The Justice Department now has until Oct. 12 to reply to the ruling, and the ban remains in effect until then.https://t.co/T7bnnvb1Fy
— NPR (@NPR) October 9, 2021