AUSTIN, Texas — Planned Parenthood will likely not be able to challenge Texas’s new abortion law in state courts. The Texas Supreme Court denied its emergency request for a writ of mandamus on Monday.
A Travis County district court granted Planned Parenthood and other organizations a temporary injunction against Texas Right to Life in September. The order stopped Texas Right to Life from suing abortion providers and health care workers in Texas under the state's new abortion law, or Senate Bill 8.
The law bans abortions in Texas after a fetal heartbeat is detected. Usually, this happens around six weeks into a pregnancy, before many women know that they are pregnant.
Under SB8, nearly anyone can sue a Texas doctor who performs an abortion or anyone who helps a woman get an abortion.
Planned Parenthood said the court’s decision is causing the “overwhelming majority of abortion patients” to leave Texas.
Helene Krasnoff, vice president for public policy litigation and law for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, released the following statement after the ruling:
“The Texas Supreme Court’s decision to allow the stay to remain in effect is extremely disappointing and will likely deprive Planned Parenthood of its day in court, once again. Texas Right to Life and others who have championed this cruel and unconstitutional law have for more than 30 days now used every procedural trick possible to deprive millions of Texans of their constitutional right to abortion. This must stop. The courts must protect Texans’ right to access safe, legal abortion, and Planned Parenthood will continue to fight for our patients in all possible venues.”
This isn’t the only current litigation surrounding the Texas abortion law. The U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against the State of Texas. Last week, lawyers with the department argued against the law before U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman in Austin.
Kimberlyn Schwartz, Texas Right to Life director of media and communication, sent KVUE a statement following the hearings:
“Ultimately, the Justice Department is asking the court to toss out all logic and judicial precedent in order to cater the abortion industry. The Biden administration’s case is desperate and farfetched, and we expect an impartial court to declare the lawsuit without merit.”
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