Abortions can resume in Texas after judge temporarily blocks pre-Roe v. Wade ban

Experts said the ruling is only likely to extend the availability of abortions in the state by another two months.

click to enlarge Abortion-rights protesters flood the streets of San Antonio last week after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. - Jaime Monzon
Jaime Monzon
Abortion-rights protesters flood the streets of San Antonio last week after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
Texas clinics can resume performing abortions up to about six weeks into pregnancy after a district judge issued an order Tuesday temporarily blocking the state from enforcing its pre-Roe v. Wade ban on the procedure, according to the Texas Tribune.

Abortion providers sued in state district court in Houston to stop Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton from enforcing an old abortion ban before a so-called "trigger law" barring most abortions in the state can go into effect. The trigger law would outlaw the procedure 30 days after the U.S. Supreme Court issues its formal ruling overturning Roe v. Wade.

The Houston judge is expected to hold a July 12 hearing to decide whether to issue permanent restraining order, the Tribune reports.

“It is a relief that this Texas state court acted so quickly to block this deeply harmful abortion ban,” Marc Hearron, senior counsel at the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a press statement. “This decision will allow abortion services to resume at many clinics across the state, connecting Texans to the essential health care they need. Every hour that abortion is accessible in Texas is a victory.”

Experts told the Tribune the ruling would only extend the availability of abortions in Texas for another two months or so. What's more, under an existing Texas law that predates the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, doctors cannot perform abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected — usually around six weeks.

Last week, in the wake of the high court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, Planned Parenthood said it would suspend performing all abortions in Texas because state officials could attempt to use the pre-Roe law against its staff. 

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