Here is where the lawsuits against her stand now, with courts blocking family planning challenges

Top line

Abortion rights advocates won a narrow victory over Texas’ near-total ban on the procedure on Monday as a court temporarily barred anti-abortion group Texas Right to Life from suing Planned Parenthood under of the law, in one of a series of lawsuits challenging the controversial legislation – here’s where the main litigation against the ban stands:

Highlights

A judge in Travis County, Texas, awarded a injunction which prevents Texas Right to Life from suing Planned Parenthood and its employees under the law, which grants private citizens the power to enforce the abortion ban through lawsuits against abortion providers and d ‘others who “help and encourage” an abortion.

The judge already had blocked Texas Right to Life to sue Planned Parenthood until September 17, but this injunction, which was reached through an agreement between the two parties, will last as long as the litigation takes to unfold, which will at least be done through a trial scheduled to begin on April 4, 2022.

The Planned Parenthood lawsuit is one of at least two narrowly tailored decisions that block prosecutions against specific plaintiffs, as Travis County Court has also temporarily separated blocked Texas Right to Life to sue an individual plaintiff.

A broader lawsuit by abortion providers seeking to repeal the law entirely is pending in lower federal courts after the Supreme Court of the United States chose not to shoot it.

An appeals court on Friday suspended the law keeping the law in force while it considers whether the appeals court has jurisdiction to hear the case, barring a district court from considering the ‘case for a second time.

The US Department of Justice has brought its own trial against Texas last week seeking to repeal the law, which remains pending in federal court.

Crucial quote

Planned Parenthood is “relieved” by the court’s temporary injunction and the order will provide “some protection against frivolous lawsuits as litigation against this blatantly unconstitutional law continues,” Helene Krasnoff, vice president for policy litigation public and the right to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement Monday. “This temporary injunction is an important step, but it is not enough relief for our staff and the seven million women of childbearing age in Texas for whom abortion care remains virtually inaccessible.”

Chief critic

Texas Right to Life spokesperson Kim Schwartz dismissed the temporary injunction in a statement Monday, noting that it does not prevent other citizens from suing Planned Parenthood or Texas Right to Life from suing other providers abortion. “So today’s ruling ultimately has no effect on the Texas Heartbeat Act or the risk the abortion industry takes if it violates this life-saving law,” Schwartz said. She also noted that as part of their legal proceedings, the court blocked Planned Parenthood’s attempt to release the names of other anti-abortion advocates with whom Texas Right to Life worked to draft Texas law.

Key context

The Texas Abortion Act, known as Senate Bill 8 (SB 8), blocks abortions after detecting a “fetal heartbeat” – a term of medical experts criticize to be factually inaccurate, which is roughly six weeks pregnant. The law, which has only one exception for medical emergencies, is expected to block around 85% of abortions in the state because it stops abortions even before many people. realize they are pregnant. While similar state-level abortion bans were overturned by the courts before they could even come into effect, SB 8’s decision to use private litigation instead of government to enforce the ban was designed to escape legal scrutiny and make the law more difficult to challenge in court. , a tactic that other states are likely to copy. This strategy has already paid off in the Supreme Court, as the court ruled that it was too early to know whether the defendants in the case would even try to enforce the ban in a way that deserved a legal challenge. Texas Right to Life, which helped draft SB 8, is a key group expected to enforce the law through private prosecutions, launching a website designed to gather advice on abortion advocates who could be prosecuted under the law. GoDaddy web hosting company close the website, however, and the site URL currently redirects to the organization’s main website.

What to watch out for

How the litigation against SB 8 will end up playing out. While the Supreme Court refused to block the law because it said it was too early to challenge it, it did not rule on the constitutionality of the law itself and said its ruling did not block it. not future legal challenges. Any question about the constitutionality of the law could also arise whenever an anti-abortion complainant decides to prosecute someone who “aids and encourages” an abortion and the law is argued in court, which the legislative director said. from Texas Right to Life John Seago had previously Recount Forbes this is how he expects it to be ultimately determined whether or not the law can stand. While SB 8 presents more thorny legal issues than abortion bans imposed by other state governments, some legal experts still predict that the law will ultimately be easily overturned. “It is very likely that it will be found unconstitutional,” said Jonathan Turley, professor of constitutional law at George Washington University. Associated press. “Courts are likely to quickly enforce Texas law.”

What we don’t know

How a separate Supreme Court trial now going could affect Texas law. The Supreme Court will hear a case Mississippi’s upcoming 15-week abortion ban, which could potentially cause the conservative-leaning court to weaken or dramatically reverse its precedent on abortion rights in Roe v. Wade and to pave the way for the free entry into force of state-level abortion bans. The Supreme Court could “jump half a century of precedent and call on states to ban abortion altogether” if it sided with the Mississippi, the abortion providers wrote in a report. brief in court filed Monday, predicting that a ruling against abortion rights would result in a “cascade” of anti-abortion laws.

Further reading

Supreme Court refuses to overturn Texas abortion ban (Forbes)

Biden administration sues Texas over abortion ban (Forbes)

Texas Right to Life temporarily banned from enforcing 6-week abortion ban against Planned Parenthood (CBS News)


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