Coronavirus

Texas’ Abortion Ban Is Halted By A Federal Court – Again

Gov. Greg Abbott issued an order last month banning procedures that are “not immediately medically necessary” during the outbreak, which he said includes abortions.

A federal court has – yet again – temporarily halted Texas' ban on abortions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gov. Greg Abbott issued an order last month banning procedures that are "not immediately medically necessary" during the outbreak, which he said includes abortions.

On Thursday, the U.S. District Court in Austin said the order constitutes "an absolute ban" on abortions in Texas and that women could suffer “irreparable harm.”

"When a temporary delay reaches 22 weeks [of last menstrual period], the ban is not temporary, it is absolute," Judge Lee Yeakel wrote. "A ban within a limited period becomes a total ban when that period expires. As a minimum, this is an undue burden on a woman’s right to a previability abortion."

Abortion providers sued the state in late March and a court agreed to temporarily halt the ban. Shortly after that ruling, however, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted that court order and overturned it last week.

Providers in Texas have said the state's ban has forced them to cancel hundreds of appointments across the state. They say many of the women will be forced to have the procedure later in their pregnancies and, in many cases, forced to carry out a pregnancy.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has argued the ban is an effort to preserve medical supplies during the COVID-19 outbreak.

This piece was originally published on KUT.

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