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Federal judge blocks restrictive abortion law in Texas

Posted at 6:11 PM, Oct 06, 2021

A federal judge ordered Texas to suspend its restrictive abortion law, according to The Associated Press.

The order came from Judge Robert Pitman following a request from the Department of Justice.

From 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," he wrote. "That other courts may 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 Texas law bans abortions after cardiac activity can be detected, which is at about six weeks into a pregnancy.

Abortion rights activists have said that many women don't know they are pregnant that early.

The law allows private citizens to sue anyone who performs or helps a woman get an abortion. If the lawsuit is successful, the private citizen is entitled to at least $10,000.

Pitman said the way the law is structured is problematic.

"Had this Court not acted on its sound authority to provide relief to the United States, any number of states could enact legislation that deprives citizens of their constitutional rights, with no legal remedy to challenge that deprivation, without the concern that a federal court would enter an injunction," Pitman said in his ruling.

Wednesday's temporary restraining order is expected to be appealed.