A federal judge has temporarily blocked a controversial new law in Texas that effectively bans women from having an abortion in the state.
US District Judge Robert Pitman granted a request by the Biden administration to prevent any enforcement of the law while its legality is being challenged.
The law was put forward and approved by Republican lawmakers in Texas.
The White House called the judge’s ruling “an important step” to restoring Texas women’s constitutional rights.
Judge Pitman, of Austin, wrote in an 113-page opinion that, from the moment the law came into effect on 1 September, “women have been unlawfully prevented from exercising control over their lives in ways that are protected by the Constitution”.
“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.”
This is the first legal setback for Texas since the law was implemented, and state officials are expected to appeal Judge Pitman’s ruling.
The Biden administration took legal action after the conservative-majority Supreme Court declined to prevent Texas from enacting the law. The justice department filed an emergency motion to block enforcement of the law while it pursues legal action.
Democrat President Joe Biden has described the law as an “unprecedented assault” on women’s rights, but Texas Governor Greg Abbott has defended it, saying: “The most precious freedom is life itself.”
The “Heartbeat Act” bans terminations after the detection of what anti-abortion campaigners call a foetal heartbeat, something medical authorities say is misleading. This effectively bans abortions from as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, at a time when most women will not be aware they are pregnant.
The law also gives any individual – from Texas or elsewhere – the right to sue doctors who perform an abortion past the six-week point. However it does not allow the women who get the procedure to be sued.
One doctor who admitted breaking the state’s new abortion legislation has already been sued.
Writing for the Washington Post, Dr Alan Braid said he “acted because I had a duty of care to this patient, as I do for all patients, and because she has a fundamental right to receive this care.
“I fully understood that there could be legal consequences – but I wanted to make sure that Texas didn’t get away with its bid to prevent this blatantly unconstitutional law from being tested,” he wrote.
- Disregard statement declaring Friday, Sept 30 as a holiday – Oyibi Divisional Council
- Danadams Pharmaceuticals and CEO in court over alleged fraud and forgery
- GFA suspends 2022/23 Ghana Premier League over court injunction
- ‘I’m extremely regretful’ – KiDi apologises for ‘inappropriate and unkind’ old tweets
- Man arrested for threatening to release nude videos of late brother’s wife
- T Bills, short-term securities will not be affected by Ghana’s debt restructuring – US-based Associate Professor
- Land acquisition: Here is what you missed on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show
- Pastor jailed for life after planning coup and black genocide
- UTAG, 3 other university labour unions threaten to go on strike on October 5
- We will still be a prime supplier of Mercedes-Benz services in Ghana – Silver Star
- Ghana, Korea $8 million rice project kicks off in Assin North
- ‘Little drops of the Word’ launched to help facilitate Christian children upbringing
- SIM re-registration: National Security has warned Akufo-Addo against blockage – Deputy Minority Chief Whip
- We are engaging ECG to fix anomaly with electricity purchase – PURC
- Chinese employer allegedly slashes throat of Ghanaian employee
- SIM re-registration: “Eat your humble pie” – Sam George tells Ursula Owusu
- NIA called, begged 9 Ghanaians to come for their Ghana Cards after filing complaint in court – Sam George
- Livestream: PM Express discusses the survival of banks in economic crisis
- Mfantsipim Old Boys Association holds annual engagement series
- betPawa Premier League: Seydou Zerbo getting frustrated with Kotoko strikers
- Playback: Personality Profile hosts Zahara
- Recent frequent rainfall is not a new phenomenon – Chief Forecaster
- Turbo-Jets win second edition of Adonai Osagyefo Basketball Championship
- Luv FM Habitat Fair: Homeowners and businesses urged to invest in security
- Every single day Akufo-Addo remains President, the country drifts into peril – Dr Amoako Baah