Just a day after a federal judge blocked a new heartbeat law, which prevents someone from terminating a pregnancy after six weeks, one abortion provider in the state of Texas has resumed the murder of the pre-born on Thursday.
Chief executive of Whole Woman’s Health Amy Hagstrom Miller spoke with the media and stated that since the law went into effect on the first day of September, the provider, which has four clinics in the state, had put patients seeking an abortion on a waiting list if their pregnancies went beyond the legal limit.
“So those folks were able to come in and we did provide them with abortion care today,” Hagstrom Miller went on to say while on a call with reporters.
Miller did not go on to reveal which clinics were resuming operations, nor how many abortions they have already provided for their “clients.”
U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman in Austin on Wednesday blocked the state from enforcing the law while litigation over its legality continues. The Republican-backed measure empowers private citizens to enforce the ban, and Texas immediately appealed the ruling to the conservative-leaning Fifth Circuit Appeals Court.
The law has become a flashpoint in a national battle over abortion rights as Republican lawmakers in other states try to pass similar legislation. In December, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear a Mississippi case testing Roe v. Wade, its landmark 1973 decision that established the nationwide right to abortion access.
Drexel University law professor David Cohen said Texas clinics that resume their previous abortion services while the law is blocked will be in a “very precarious position.” A clause in the law says providers can still be sued if the law goes back into effect after being struck down by a court.
Cohen then went on to say that even if the injunction against the heartbeat bill were to be upheld by the Supreme Court on appeal, it could still be done away with by a subsequent overturning of Roe v. Wade, due to that decision being the basis for Pitman’s own ruling.
“Any abortion you provide, even with an injunction, could be seen as criminal a year from now, six months from now – and you could be held accountable for every one of those. It’s pretty daunting to think about that,” she commented.
Pro-life activists have stated that if the ruling is reversed on appeal, they will file a lawsuit against those providers who have started doing abortions again.
“As this case develops, if there’s an opportunity for lawsuits or for enforcement in the future, that’s something that the pro-life movement is very interested in,” John Seago, who is the legislative director for the anti-abortion group Texas Right to Life went on to state.
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