Texas wins bid to reinstate law restricting abortions

The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has put on hold a lower court ruling from 6 October that blocked abortion laws in Texas, as litigation continues.

Maria Peña holds a sign outside an abortion provider in Dallas on 7 October 2021.

Maria Peña holds a sign outside an abortion provider in Dallas on 7 October 2021. Source: AAP

A US appeals court has temporarily reinstated Texas's near-total ban on abortion, dealing a setback to abortion rights advocates and the Biden administration.

The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, an intermediate appeals court, said on Friday it was putting on hold a lower court ruling from 6 October that blocked the abortion law.

The administrative stay from the Fifth Circuit, a conservative-leaning appeals court, came in a lawsuit brought by the US Justice Department on 9 September.

The purpose of the administrative stay is to give the court time to determine whether to issue a more permanent ruling.

The Texas abortion law, which took effect on 1 September, bans abortions around six weeks of pregnancy.

The law makes no exceptions for pregnancies caused by rape or incest. It also lets ordinary citizens enforce the ban, rewarding them at least $A13,680 ($US10,000) if they successfully sue anyone who helped provide an abortion after foetal cardiac activity is detected.

Critics of the law have said this provision enables people to act as anti-abortion bounty hunters.

US District Judge Robert Pitman in Austin on Wednesday temporarily blocked the abortion ban while litigation over its legality continues.

The Justice Department has argued that the law impedes women from exercising their constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy that was recognised in the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which legalised abortion nationwide.

The department also argued that the law improperly interferes with the operations of the federal government to provide abortion-related services.


Share
Published 9 October 2021 at 5:00pm, updated 9 October 2021 at 7:33pm
Source: AAP - SBS