Last Updated on June 28, 2022
In Texas, a county judge has blocked officials from enforcing a pre-Roe abortion ban, which means abortions are legal up to six weeks of gestation.
On Tuesday, Harris County Judge Christine Weems temporarily restrained the 1925 pre-Roe abortion ban, which made performing abortions punishable by up to five years in prison.
“It is a relief that this Texas state court acted so quickly to block this deeply harmful abortion ban,” Marc Hearron, senior counsel at the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a press release. “This decision will allow abortion services to resume at many clinics across the state, connecting Texans to the essential health care they need. Every hour that abortion is accessible in Texas is a victory.
Specific abortion clinics listed in the lawsuit are now able to temporarily perform abortions, but a more permanent restraining order is set on July 12th.
This lawsuit came after Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton released an advisory following the overturning of Roe v. Wade which said Texas prosecutors could criminally charge medical providers “based on violations of Texas abortion prohibitions predating Roe that were never repealed by the Texas Legislature.”
“Although these statutes were unenforceable while Roe was on the books, they are still Texas law,” Paxton claimed.
However, the lawsuit’s plaintiffs attested the 1925 pro-life law was permanently repealed by Roe v. Wade‘s decision in 1973.
Harris County Attorney Christian Menefee called Paxton’s advisory “shameful” and believed the laws Paxton referenced were “clearly no longer enforceable.”
“It’s reprehensible that our Attorney General would invoke laws dating back to the 1920s – we all know what types of laws were on the books in the south during that time,” he said in a statement. “Our state leadership should not be trying to take Texans back to those times.”
Stay tuned to National File for any updates.