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This judge just blocked enforcement of the near-total abortion ban in Texas

The ban comes after President Joe Biden’s administration challenged the new law

Pamphlets at Planned Parenthood of Utah in Salt Lake City.
Pamphlets are shown in a Planned Parenthood of Utah clinic in Salt Lake City. A U.S. judge has temporarily blocked the near-total abortion ban in Texas.
Rick Bowmer, Associated Press

A U.S. judge has temporarily blocked the near-total abortion ban in Texas — one of the toughest abortion laws in the country — because it is an “offensive deprivation” of constitutional rights, The Associated Press reports.

The order, given by U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman, runs 113 pages. Pitman said in the opinion that Texas Republicans “contrived an unprecedented and transparent statutory scheme” by giving regular citizens the chance to enforce the law.

  • “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,” wrote Pitman.
  • “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,” he wrote.

Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed the bill into law in May. The law bans abortions when a heartbeat can be detected, which is around six weeks. In some cases, this is before women know that they are pregnant.

  • Under the law — called SB8 — private citizens can collect $10,000 in damages if they can bring a successful lawsuit against abortion providers who violate the law, The Associated Press.

The Supreme Court refused to block the Texas law from taking effect, according to Deseret News. In response, the Department of Justice decided to sue the state of Texas over to the law.

The Department of Justice then filed an emergency motion soon after the law went into effect, asking for a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction against the law.