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Federal Judge Blocks Texas From Enforcing Law Banning Abortion After Six Weeks

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A federal judge late last night blocked enforcement of Texas’ new abortion law calling it an “offensive deprivation” of a constitutional right. 

The order by U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman is the first legal blow to the new law after surviving a few earlier challenges.

In a 113-page opinion, Pitman ripped Texas politicians saying the Republican lawmakers had “contrived an unprecedented and transparent statutory scheme” by giving enforcement to the private sector.

“This is not some kind of vigilante scheme,” Will Thompson, counsel for the Texas Attorney General’s Office, said while defending the law to the judge. “This is a scheme that uses the normal, lawful process of justice in Texas.”

Pitman disagreed with Thompson writing:

“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.

“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.”

“For more than a month now, Texans have been deprived of abortion access because of an unconstitutional law that never should have gone into effect. The relief granted by the court today is overdue, and we are grateful that the Department of Justice moved quickly to seek it,” said Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

Texas Right to Life said:

“This is ultimately the legacy of Roe v. Wade, that you have activist judges bending over backwards, bending precedent, bending the law, in order to cater to the abortion industry,” said Kimberlyn Schwartz, a spokeswoman for the group.

“These activist judges will create their conclusion first: that abortion is a so-called constitutional right and then work backwards from there.”