Reuters File Photo: A reproductive rights woman holds a sign outside the Texas State Capitol during a nationwide march, held after a total ban on access to Texas abortion procedures and abortion-induced toxins.
Written by Jan Wolf and Sarah Ann Lynch
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An appeals court in the United States temporarily reinstated Texas’s restricted abortion law late Friday night, barring the practice of going beyond the six-week pregnancy and banning ordinary citizens.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, a conservative-risk intermediate appellate court, granted the Texas attorney general’s office a request Friday to temporarily suspend a judge’s order restraining abortion.
The administrative stay order from the Fifth Circuit, a conservative-risk appellate court, came in a case brought by Justice the U.S. Department of Justice in September. The purpose of the administrative stay is to give the court time to decide whether to issue a more permanent one. Rule
The three-judge Fifth Circuit panel gave the Justice Department until Tuesday to respond to the Texas filing.
Representatives of the judiciary did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Texas Abortion Act, which went into effect Sept. 1, makes exceptions to pregnancies due to rape or incest. It allows ordinary citizens to enforce the ban, rewarding them at least 10,000 10,000 if they successfully sue someone who helps perform an abortion after the fetal’s cardiac activity has been detected. Critics of the law say the provision enables people to act as anti-abortion donor hunters.
Austin U.S. District Judge Robert Pittman temporarily banned abortion on Wednesday while its legitimacy was being challenged.
The judiciary has argued that the law prohibits women from exercising their constitutional right to terminate pregnancies as recognized in the Supreme Court’s 1973 Rowe v. Wade ruling, which legalized abortion nationwide. The department further argued that the law improperly interfered with the activities of the federal government in providing abortion services.
Brigitte Amiri, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union, said: “This is a deeply disturbing order that would allow the Texas abortion ban to be re-enacted at a time when abortion providers were rapidly starting to provide abortion care for all patients.”
Amiri said the ACLU hopes the case will “move forward at a faster pace” so Texas’ abortion law could be closed again, possibly by the U.S. Supreme Court.
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