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Federal judge's order temporarily blocks Texas' abortion law

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WASHINGTON — A federal judge Oct. 6 temporarily blocked Texas from enforcing a law that went into effect Sept. 1 banning most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. The order from U.S. District Court Judge Robert Pitman in Austin, Texas, granted an emergency request from the Justice Department, which had already sued the state saying the abortion law was unconstitutional.

Pitman's 113-page order said that once the new abortion law "went into effect, women have been unlawfully prevented from exercising control over their lives in ways that are protected by the Constitution." "This court will not sanction one more day of this offensive deprivation of such an important right," it added. The judge also criticized the means of enforcing the new law, saying lawmakers had "contrived an unprecedented and transparent statutory scheme" with its emphasis on private citizens bringing civil lawsuits in state court against abortion providers. Texas planned to file an appeal of Pitman's ruling to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Texas Right to Life called the ruling "wildly broad, preventing Texas state officials from enforcing the law, including the shocking prevention to stop Texas elected officials and every Texas judge and court clerk from even receiving lawsuits filed by citizens against the abortion industry."

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2021