After a state district judge in Travis County granted a temporary injunction on Texas’ abortion ban, thereby allowing some abortions to be performed, the Office of the Texas Attorney General has filed an appeal to block the order.
In the appeal, the state notes that under the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code and Texas Rule of Appellate Procedure, Texas pro-life laws are still in full effect until the Supreme Court rules on the matter.
“Protecting the health of mothers and babies is of paramount importance to the people of Texas, a moral principle enshrined in the law which states that an abortion may be performed under limited circumstances,” explains the OAG in a press release. “The OAG will continue to enforce the laws duly enacted by the Texas Legislature and uphold the values of the people of Texas by doing everything in its power to protect mothers and babies.”
The appeal comes after State District Judge Jessica Mangrum ruled late last week in favor of the Center for Reproductive Rights. She declared that Texas cannot enforce its abortion ban against physicians who terminate a pregnancy because of complications, a risk of infection, or if the continuation of a pregnancy is unsafe for the woman.
Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, which led to Texas outlawing abortion except when the mother’s life is in danger. A trigger law, put in place by the Texas Legislature, made performing an abortion a punishable offense with penalties of up to life in prison and $100,000 in fines per violation.
In early March this year, the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a lawsuit on behalf of several Texas women and OB-GYNs against Texas’ abortion ban. The lawsuit claims Texas’ ban contains conflicting language, making it unclear to physicians when they can terminate a pregnancy.
The lawsuit calls on the court to clarify Texas’ abortion laws by creating a “medical emergency” exception and says the court’s interpretation should allow physicians to exercise their “good-faith judgment” to determine if an abortion is necessary.
On July 19-20, the district court in Travis County held a hearing to decide whether or not to impose an injunction against Texas’ bans. Four women and one OB-GYN testified that the abortion ban and its lack of clarity impacted their pregnancies and lives.
A trial to decide when a medical emergency justifies an abortion is slated to begin on March 25, 2024.