Judge Blocks Anti-abortion Group From Suing Planned

A state judge in Texas has blocked the anti-abortion group Texas Right to Life, from trying to enforce the recently imposed six-week abortion ban against Planned Parenthood in Texas.

CNN reports that Travis County, Tex. District Court Judge Karin Crump issued an injunction that applies to anyone acting with or on behalf of the group and stops them from filing a lawsuit against Planned Parenthood for any potential violation of SB8, which passed last week, essentially banning abortion after six weeks in almost all cases. 

The move is a win for abortion rights advocates who are attempting to halt the effects of the law. Other groups have gotten temporary restraining orders against anti-abortion groups in hopes obtaining more permanent legal fixtures.

This injunction applies only to Texas Right to Life. Other groups and individuals are still free to file suit against Planned Parenthood. The temporary measures are in place against other anti-abortion activist groups, and more permanent injunctions are being sought in those instances.

The injunction against Texas Right to Life is effective immediately and will remain in effect until at least April 2022, when Judge Crump has set the trial date to argue the case.

The law, signed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, does two major things. First, it bars a physician from performing an abortion procedure if a fetal heartbeat is detected. It also allows any person or group to sue anyone who “aids and abets” an abortion procedure.

It is also broad enough that rideshare companies Uber and Lyft have sworn to cover the legal fees should any of its drivers be sued for transporting a fare to obtain an abortion. 

The U.S. Supreme Court allowed the law to stand earlier this month, and the impact is apparent as clinics in the state have largely stopped performing abortions for women more than six weeks pregnant for fear of litigation from private parties.

The result, according to opponents, is far less access to abortion services for women.A policy brief from the University of Texas at Austin argues that more than 8 in 10 women seeking abortions would not be able to access one.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Justice Department sued the state of Texas to block the law from taking effect, arguing that it is unconstitutional.

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