State Watch

Texas law banning most abortions set to go into effect after court cancels hearing

A law that would ban most abortions in Texas is set to go into effect Wednesday after the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals canceled a hearing on the matter that had been planned for Monday, The Texas Tribune reported

The legislation, signed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) in May, prohibits abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which can be as early as six weeks, before many people know they are pregnant. The measure also allows members of the general public to sue doctors and others they believe violated the law.

More than 20 abortion providers had hoped to block the law, which they called a “bounty hunting scheme,” from taking effect. It would affect about 90 percent of abortions in the state of Texas that are now being performed, according to data from Whole Women’s Health. 

The providers filed an emergency motion Saturday night asking the appeals court to issue a temporary stay or send the matter back to a lower court. The 5th Circuit denied the request Sunday afternoon.

The 5th Circuit is considered to be one of the most conservative in the country, according to the Tribune. 

Helene Krasnoff, vice president of public policy litigation and law at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, told the Tribune that the new law will make women lose access to abortion for the first time in Texas. 

“It’s quite possible that it could create chaos and problems on the ground, including the closing of health centers,” Krasnoff said. 

Tags abortion bans Austin Greg Abbott Texas

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