Abortion procedures have resumed at at least six Texas clinics since Thursday after a federal district judge blocked S.B. 8, the state’s newly-enacted law that prohibited abortion after fetal heartbeat detection.
According to the Associated Press, at least six clinics resumed abortion services following U.S. District Court Judge Robert Pitman’s ruling, while other clinics began “gearing up” to offer them again.
In his lengthy ruling, Pitman described S.B. 8 as “flagrantly unconstitutional” and “offensive,” stating that “[f]rom 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.”
One Texas-based abortion provider, Whole Women’s Health, took to Twitter to announce that they are providing abortion services “in accordance with Judge Pittman’s ruling out of compassion for our patients.” Furthermore, Whole Women’s Health said in a seperate tweet that they began performing abortions for individuals who’d already complied with Texas’ 24-hour mandatory waiting period.
“We are working with our staff and doctors to resume providing the full scope of abortion care as soon as possible,” Whole Women’s Health continued on Twitter. “We’ve reached out to people on the waiting list we had to turn away in September. In this climate, every single abortion we can provide is a win.”
Pitman’s ruling came in response to a request from the Biden administration to temporarily block S.B. 8 while the Department of Justice (DOJ) suits up to sue Texas over S.B. 8. As I covered yesterday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, announced via Twitter that the state will appeal Pitman’s decision to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
“We disagree with the Court's decision and have already taken steps to immediately appeal it to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals,” Paxton wrote in a tweet. “The sanctity of human life is, and will always be, a top priority for me.”
In a statement to The Associated Press, Whole Woman’s Health President Amy Hagstrom Miller said that “[f]olks know this opportunity could be short lived.” Currently, an abortion-related Supreme Court case, Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, is on the books for Dec.1, which could alter the precedents said by landmark case Roe v. Wade. Dobbs surrounds the constitutionality of a 15-week abortion ban in Mississippi.