Home LATEST NEWS Abortion in Texas: the law upheld, but the courts can intervene

Abortion in Texas: the law upheld, but the courts can intervene

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This half-hearted decision was hailed by abortion opponents who were pleased that the law remains in force. Defenders of the right of women to terminate their pregnancy have shown their confidence to ultimately obtain its blocking.

Texas, a large conservative state, has banned its residents from abortion since September 1 once the embryo’s heartbeat is noticeable, or after six weeks of pregnancy, even in cases of incest or rape.

The federal courts have in the past invalidated a dozen comparable laws, because they violated the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court: the latter recognized in 1973, and reaffirmed in 1992, the right of American women to have an abortion as long as the fetus no longer exists. is not viable, around 22 to 24 weeks gestation.

But Texas has imagined an exceptional device which has so far complicated the intervention of the federal justice: its law confides exclusively to citizens to ensure that this prohibition is respected, by encouraging them to take civil action against people and organizations that help women to violate it.

Six conservative magistrates out of nine

Seized urgently when the text entered into force, the Supreme Court, which has six conservative magistrates out of nine, took refuge behind these new procedural questions to refuse to intervene.

His inaction, seen as a sign of the influence of the three judges appointed by Donald Trump, had been sharply criticized from the left, with Democratic President Joe Biden lambasting a decision that insults the rule of law.

The legal battle then intensified, forcing the Court to fully seize the case. During a hearing on November 1, a majority of its judges had displayed their skepticism about the mechanism of the law.

Ultimately, eight members of the Court agree in saying that the principle which protects the sovereignty of the 50 States, does not prevent prosecution in federal courts, according to their decision which identifies a handful of officials who may be the target of legal action.

Only the conservative judge Clarence Thomas did not associate himself with this judgment which deals only with technical questions and does not at any time mention the right to abortion.

A group of women on the steps of a building in Austin, Texas raise their right arms and chant slogans in favor of abortion.

Women protest new anti-abortion law in Austin, Texas.

Photo: AP / Jay Janner

Three progressive magistrates

In a separate text, Court Chief John Roberts and the three progressive magistrates called for the courts to quickly block the law contrary to the constitution, given its sinister and lingering effects.

For more than three months, pregnant women in Texas are denied access to abortion in their own state after six weeks of pregnancy. Some have exercised their rights by traveling to neighboring states, but many cannot afford it, added progressive judge Sonia Sotomayor.

The court should have put an end to this madness several months ago, she continued. She was wrong then and she is still wrong today, leaving it in effect.

Once again, the Supreme Court has abdicated its duty to protect the Constitution by allowing Texas’ law, the most radical and unprecedented in the country, to remain in force.

A quote from Women’s March, feminist organization

Corn we are not going to stop fighting, reacted on Twitter the organization Whole Woman’s health, which operates four clinics in Texas and takes legal action against the law. We have already won cases that seemed impossible and we know that we will do it again.

In the meantime, the opponents of the right to abortion rejoiced to have gained time.

We welcome the Texas Heartbeat Law to remain in effect and save the lives of unborn babies.

A quote from Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the group Susan B. Anthony List

And we look forward to the court ruling on a Mississippi law, which prohibits abortions from 15 weeks pregnant, she added.

At a hearing on December 1, the conservative high court judges seemed willing to use this case to restrict the right to abortion, or even to give states complete freedom in the matter.

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