Pro-lifers scored another legal victory this week when a federal appeals court sided against abortion providers in Texas.
Known as the Heartbeat Act, it allows anyone who participates in an abortion aside from the mother to be sued for up to $10,000.
This past autumn, Fox News reported that U.S. District Judge Robert Pittman issued an injunction barring all Texas state courts from hearing lawsuits stemming from the law.
However, the conservative leaning Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals later overturned Pittman’s ruling, putting the act back in effect.
In November, the Supreme Court refused to issue a ruling regarding the law’s constitutionality and instead kicked it back to the Fifth Circuit.
Decision welcomed by pro-lifers and opposed by abortion supporters
The Daily Wire cited a Politico report as stating that although the abortion providers sought to have the case sent back to Pittman, the appeals court instead referred it on Monday to the Texas Supreme Court–an outcome pro-lifers welcomed.
That decision drew mixed reviews, with Politico noting that Center for Reproductive Rights attorney Marc Hearron attorney being among those left feeling disappointed.
“The Supreme Court gave the green light to this vigilante scheme and said if a state wants to pass a law that infringes on a constitutional right and delegate enforcement to the general public, federal courts can’t do anything to stop that. That’s the core of the case,” Hearron was quoted as saying.
“There’s a part of our case left against these licensing officials, and it’s an important part of the case, but people need to understand that even what’s left is being delayed and strung out while patients across Texas are denied their constitutional rights,” he added.
Meanwhile, Republican Oklahoma state Sen. Sean Roberts was a happy with the news and promised to introduce a similar bill in his state.
“The pro-life citizens of Oklahoma should have the ability to help hold these doctors accountable,” he said in a statement according to The Hill. “Individual citizens are an extremely important part of making sure that we are protecting the lives of the unborn.