The sense of justice regained for abortion advocates in Texas has been short-lived. A federal appeals judge authorized on Friday night the reinstatement in that state, governed by the Republicans, of the norm that prohibits the interruption of pregnancy from the sixth week and that is popularly known as the “law of the heartbeat.” The decision comes just two days after another judge blocked its application.
The controversial rule (most women do not know they are pregnant by then) took effect in September, and was temporarily limited on Wednesday in Austin by Magistrate Robert Pitman, after admitting a complaint filed by the Department of Justice of the Administration Joe Biden’s Democrat. That judicial decision was appealed in turn by the attorney general of Texas, Ken Paxton, and landed on the table of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, New Orleans, which has jurisdiction over Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. He knocked her down without hesitation. It is considered one of the most conservative courts in the United States.
The Justice Department now has until October 12 to react. Whatever happens, the decision does not interrupt the path of “the law of the beat” to the Supreme Court, in Washington, which this Monday opened a course that promises to be shaken by its own configuration, with a conservative majority of six to three accentuated for three appointments made in extremis by Republican President Donald Trump. The judicial body promises to put up a judicial face to the democratic legislative advances.
The progressive Pitman, appointed in Obama’s time, established on Wednesday in his 113-page argument that his “court will not sanction for another day this offensive deprivation of such an important right”, enshrined through jurisprudence in 1973 with the Roe v. Wade ruling. Then, the Supreme Court agreed, based on the right to privacy, to Norma L. McCorvey (called Jane Roe in the case), who requested to be able to interrupt her pregnancy in Texas as a result of a rape.
“The court must intervene and stop this madness,” Nancy Northup, president of the pro-abortion NGO Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement quoted by Efe. access to medical care, “he added. US media reported Thursday that some Texas clinics had resumed the practice of pregnancy terminations in light of a court decision blocking their ban.
Texas law is so restrictive that it encourages third-party reporting of abortion cases and provides penalties for those who participate in the intervention, and not only for doctors, but also, for example, for a nurse. On the horizon is December 1, when the Supreme Court considers the anti-abortion law of Mississippi, also a republican state. Its legislation is similar to that of Texas, although with a gestation limit of 15 weeks.
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