Controversial Texas abortion law survives yet another court challenge

According to Newsmax, a federal appeals court on Thursday rejected yet another challenge to the controversial Texas abortion law that bans the procedure in almost all instances after six weeks of pregnancy, or when a fetal heartbeat can be detected. 

The Texas law has a different method of enforcement, allowing citizens to sue individuals who help women obtain abortions, including abortion providers, drivers, or people who pay for women to have abortions in the state. If a suit is successful, the person suing can collect at least $10,000 as a penalty.

As such, it has survived legal challenges that other similar laws with more traditional enforcement by the state have not. The law will likely end up before the Supreme Court for a second time after the high court declined to order a preliminary injunction on the law earlier this year.

Newsmax reported that women are driving across state lines, some for many hours in the middle of the night, to obtain abortions at ages as young as 12 years old.

Big case coming

Opponents of the law managed to convince one court to issue an injunction, but it only lasted 48 hours before an appeals court reversed it. Some abortions after six weeks were performed during that short window of time.

Texas has about two dozen abortion clinics that are at risk of closing if the law remains in effect.

Those who oppose abortion are hopeful that the Supreme Court will move toward overturning Roe v. Wade in December when it hears a case against a Mississippi abortion restriction after 15 weeks gestation.

A 1992 ruling, Casey v. Planned Parenthood, determined that abortion restrictions before the time of viability — currently around 20 weeks — are unconstitutional, and it could also end up in the high court’s crosshairs.

Restrictions favored

With a strong conservative majority on the high court’s bench — thanks to former President Donald Trump — a new look at previous abortion rulings could soon result in landmark changes.

While many on the left are nearly rabid in their support for abortion at any stage of pregnancy, polls show that the majority of people favor restrictions on abortion that recognize the developing fetus as a human being.

As a Washington Post op-ed by Gary Abernathy noted last month, abortion restrictions follow science in an age of ever-earlier viability outside the womb, and the ability to perform life-saving surgeries on fetuses to correct abnormalities. Medical technology today has exponentially grown since the 1973 Roe ruling.

“In this age of in utero medical miracles, the notion that the difference between termination or the gift of life is whether a baby is wanted seems increasingly absurd,” Abernathy wrote. “It’s a standard we wouldn’t tolerate at any other stage of existence.”

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