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Federal Judge Blocks Texas' Controversial Abortion Bill

Stewart Perrie

| Last updated 

Federal Judge Blocks Texas' Controversial Abortion Bill

A federal US judge has temporarily blocked the enforcement of the controversial abortion ban in Texas.

U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman has handed down a 113-page ruling that seeks to overturn Senate Bill 8.

"This Court will not sanction one more day of this offensive deprivation of such an important right," Pitman said in the ruling.

He also slammed the state of Texas for trying to launch an appeal before his ruling was even handed down.

Credit: Bob Daemmrich/ZUMA Press Wire
Credit: Bob Daemmrich/ZUMA Press Wire

"The State has forfeited the right to any such accommodation by pursuing an unprecedented and aggressive scheme to deprive its citizens of a significant and well-established constitutional right," Pitman said.

"From the moment S.B. 8 went into effect, women have been unlawfully prevented from exercising control over their lives in ways that are protected by the Constitution."

The Texas Tribune reports it's unclear what the ruling will mean for abortion providers and those seeking to terminate a pregnancy.

Judge Pitman has admitted that he is fully prepared for his decision to be challenged at the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Texas introduced the country's most restrictive legislation at the beginning of last month, which effectively criminalises up to 85 per cent of pregnancy terminations.

Women aren't able to get an abortion if the baby was conceived through rape or incest and it will only be permitted if the mother's life is directly at imminent risk.

In addition to that, $10,000 bounties are also offered to citizens who expose people who aid or abet an abortion, which includes the clinic that provides the service or even a loved one who drives the woman to her appointment.

Known as the 'Heartbeat Bill' because it criminalises abortions after six weeks when a heartbeat is commonly first detected, the law has sparked outrage all across America.

Texan women have been assured by the federal Department of Justice that their rights will be protected.

Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement they are looking at ways of helping at-risk women who wanted to terminate a pregnancy.

"The department will provide support from federal law enforcement when an abortion clinic or reproductive health center is under attack," Garland said.

"We have reached out to U.S. Attorneys' Offices and FBI field offices in Texas and across the country to discuss our enforcement authorities."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: News, abortion

Stewart Perrie
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