A federal judge took a stance against Texas’ S.B. 8 law on Wednesday, which prevented women from having an abortion after 6-weeks. US District Judge Robert Pitman issued an order blocking the law, a victory for those advocating for abortion rights in the state.
“From the moment S.B. 8 went into effect, women have been unlawfully presented from exercising control over their lives in ways that are protected by the Constitution,” Judge Pitman said. “That other courts find a way to avoid this conclusion is theirs to decide; this Court will not sanction one more day of this offensive deprivation of such an important right.”
The goal of S.B. 8 was to complicate the process for women to get abortions after the 6-week time period. As opposed to having government officials enforcing the ban, the Texas legislature had private citizens bring state court legislation against any clinic that performed an abortion.
CNN reports any person who assisted in a person getting an abortion in violation of the ban could be targeted by state court litigation, and risk being fined at least $10,000.
“Fully aware that depriving its citizens of this right by direct state action would be flagrantly unconstitutional, the State contrived an unprecedented and transparent statutory scheme to do just that,” Judge Pitman wrote Wednesday.
Pitman’s new order blocks any officer of the state from enforcing the ban and prohibits those officers from “acceptation or docketing, maintaining, hearing, resolving, awarding damages in, enforcing judgements in, enforcing any administrative penalties in, and administering any lawsuit” brought under the state law.
An anti-abortion group called Texas Right to Life called Pitman’s ruling “wildly broad” and “astonishing” in its “effort to obstruct state judges and court clerks from fulfilling their lawful duties.”
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