Texas abortion ban temporarily blocked | First Thing
US federal judge rules law violates right to abortion in first legal challenge to Senate Bill 8. Plus, Alaska hospitals ration care
Texas’s near-total abortion ban has been temporarily blocked after a US federal judge ruled that it violated the constitutional right to abortion, in the first legal challenge to Senate Bill 8.
Brought by the Biden administration, the lawsuit will prevent Texas from enforcing SB8 while litigation over its legality continues. However, with state officials likely to seek a rapid reversal of the ruling, many doctors may refuse to carry out abortions for fear of being sued.
Is Texas’s law unique? In some ways, yes. While other states have passed similar laws, SB8 delegates enforcement to private citizens, not prosecutors.
What has SB8’s effect been? Planned Parenthood said the number of patients at its Texas clinics fell by nearly 80% in the two weeks after the law took effect.
What did the federal judge say? “Women have been unlawfully prevented from exercising control over their lives in ways that are protected by the constitution,” Robert Pitman wrote.