Texas supreme court dismisses challenge to abortion ban

 June 2, 2024

The Supreme Court of Texas will not stop the state's anti-abortion laws from being enforced while those laws are being legally challenged. 

ABC News reports that the justices of Texas' top court said as much in a ruling that they released on Friday.

The ruling, as will be demonstrated, does allow these legal challenges to the state's anti-abortion laws to proceed.

However, the court refused to stop these laws from taking effect while the courts determine their legality.

What's going on?

Texas is one of those Republican-led states that have enacted fairly strong anti-abortion laws.

CBS News explains, "Texas bans abortions at about six weeks, with a limited medical exception for a pregnancy that threatens the life of the mother or risks impairing a major bodily function."

A group of women is challenging these laws on the grounds that they do not sufficiently explain what constitutes a medical emergency.

"A group of women who were denied abortions under the state filed the lawsuit in March, and they had argued that because the ban's language regarding medical exceptions is unclear, they were denied lifesaving care while they were pregnant," CBS reports.

In addition to this, the group of women has asked the courts to stop these abortion laws from being implemented while their challenge to the laws plays out.

"We vacate its order"

As mentioned at the outset, the Supreme Court of Texas has refused to grant the challengers' request to halt the abortion laws. Essentially, the justices found that the medical exceptions listed in the laws provide sufficient protection to the people of Texas to allow the case to continue without needing to stop the enforcement of the laws.

"Texas law permits a life-saving abortion. Under the Human Life Protection Act, a physician may perform an abortion if, exercising reasonable medical judgment, the physician determines that a woman has a life-threatening physical condition that places her at risk of death or serious physical impairment unless an abortion is performed," the court wrote.

It added, "The law permits a physician to intervene to address a woman's life-threatening physical condition before death or serious physical impairment are imminent. Because the trial court's injunction departed from the law as written without constitutional justification, we vacate its order."

This simply means that the challenge will now proceed without the abortion law being halted.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, in a statement on the matter, said that he will "continue to defend the laws enacted by the Legislature and uphold the values of the people of Texas by doing everything in my power to protect mothers and babies."

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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