Friday, Jul 01, 2022
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US: Texas Abortions Resume After Controversial Anti-Abortion Law Halted

On Wednesday US District Judge Robert Pitman issued a preliminary injunction, suspending the enforcement of the Texas abortion law known as Senate Bill 8 (SB8), which bans terminations after 6 weeks.

Representational Image AP

Some clinics in the state have carried out procedures amid fears a suspension to a law that in effect almost bans abortions may be "short-lived."

A number of clinics in Texas on Thursday took the opportunity to conduct abortions on patients following a federal judge's decision to halt a controversial law.

On Wednesday US District Judge Robert Pitman issued a preliminary injunction, suspending the enforcement of the Texas abortion law known as Senate Bill 8 (SB8), which bans terminations after 6 weeks.

Rush to perform terminations at some clinics

While some clinics were hesitant to proceed with terminations following the suspension of the ban, others seized the opportunity to offer the service to patients in accordance with Wednesday's ruling.

Amy Hagstrom Miller, president of abortion clinic Whole Women's Health, said: "There's actually hope from patients and from staff, and I think there's a little desperation in that hope."

Without revealing how many procedures had been conducted, Miller added: "Folks know this opportunity could be short-lived."

Planned Parenthood, which is the state's largest provider of abortions, would not be drawn on whether it had resumed terminations.

Federal judge's scathing ruling

The Texas law came into force on September amid widespread criticism. According to the legislation, a woman would not be able to terminate a pregnancy beyond the six-week mark. This is the point in a pregnancy when a heartbeat can be detected, but also when many women are unaware that they have conceived.

Judge Pitman said the law was "flagrantly unconstitutional" and was in violation of the 1973 Roe vs Wade Supreme Court ruling which protects women's rights to abortions.

Pitman said: "From the moment SB8 went into effect, women have been unlawfully prevented from exercising control over their lives in ways that are protected by the Constitution."

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said he would appeal Piman's ruling, saying: "The sanctity of human life is, and will always be, a top priority for me."

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