HOUSTON — In a lawsuit brought by the Department of Justice, a federal court blocked Texas’ extreme abortion ban, SB 8, from continuing to wreak havoc on the lives of pregnant Texans who need abortion care.
The court granted a preliminary injunction against SB 8 which will remain in effect while the case continues unless the ruling is overturned or paused on appeal. This ruling (by Judge Robert Pittman) paves the way for providers to resume care, but given the aggressive nature of Texas’ litigation tactics, the fight is far from over and abortion access will remain precarious given the anticipated appeals process.
For a month, SB 8 has banned abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, before many know they’re pregnant, and incentivized anyone — including abusive partners, estranged relatives, and complete strangers — to act as bounty hunters and take doctors, health centers, and anyone who helps another person access abortion to court. If successful, they could collect at least $10,000 for each abortion, paid by the person who is sued.
“Though the court’s ruling offers a sigh of relief, the threat of Texas’ abortion ban still looms over the state as cases continue to move through the courts. We already know the politicians behind this law will stop at nothing until they’ve banned abortion entirely. A month ago, five Supreme Court Justices shrugged their shoulders and allowed this horrific law to take effect. The result has been devastating: people who need abortion care and have resources have been forced to flee the state and those without resources or the ability to travel have been forced to remain pregnant against their will.
“The law has impacted the most marginalized the harshest, including people of color and young people. This fight is far from over, and we’re ready to do everything we can to make sure every person can get the abortion care they need regardless of where they live or how much they make.”