The latest in a series of legal battles that have broken out across the country since Roe v. Wade was overturned, clinics were closing their doors for abortion services on Saturday in the second-largest state in the union. The Texas Supreme Court had blocked an order that had temporarily allowed the procedure to resume in some cases.
A Houston judge’s three-day-old order allowing clinics to start performing abortions up to six weeks into a pregnancy was overturned by the Friday night decision. The American Civil Liberties Union declared the next day that it didn’t believe any abortions were currently being offered in the almost 30 million-person state.
The decision brought an end to abortions in Whole Woman’s Health’s four Texas clinics, according to Amy Hagstrom Miller, the company’s president. Staff members at these clinics are now winding down abortion services and having “heartbreaking talks” with women whose appointments were cancelled.
In a statement, Hagstrom Miller said, “I cry for us and for the patients we have committed our lives to serving with the excellent abortion care we provide, many of whom will be denied that choice in the months and possibly years to come.”
Even after the restraining order was placed in place on Tuesday, Planned Parenthood’s numerous affiliates in Texas still did not offer abortion services again.
A long-forgotten criminal statute from 1925 that targeted people who conduct abortions was in question. Following the adoption of abortion as a constitutional right in the United States in 1973, clinics contended that it was invalid. However, on June 24, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the precedent-setting Roe decision, leaving abortion regulation up to the states.
“Pro-life triumph! … The legal battles go on, but I’ll keep fighting for Texas’ unborn children, said Republican attorney general Ken Paxton, who had requested the state Supreme Court to get involved.
Separately, Texas has a legislation from 2021 that would outlaw abortion if Roe were to be overturned. In the coming weeks, it becomes effective.
According to Julia Kaye of the ACLU, “extremist lawmakers are on a crusade to compel Texans into pregnancy and childbirth against their will, no matter how severe the consequences.”
Patients and providers all throughout the nation have had difficulty navigating the rapidly changing legal environment surrounding abortion access and laws.
A judge in Florida declared it to be against the state constitution the day before it took effect, and he indicated he would sign an order temporarily suspending it the next week. On Friday, the legislation prohibiting abortions after 15 weeks went into force. Due to the fact that Florida now permits more access to the procedure than its surrounding states, the restriction may have larger effects in the South.
Women may have fewer alternatives to end their pregnancies even when they travel outside of states with abortion restrictions since they risk being prosecuted.
This week, Planned Parenthood of Montana discontinued offering medication abortions to clients who reside in states where such procedures are prohibited.
Patients are being instructed to take both pills in the regimen while in a state that permits abortions by Planned Parenthood North Central States, which performs the operation in Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska.
Since mifepristone, the primary medication used in medication abortions, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2000, the use of pills has become the most popular way to end a pregnancy. It is the abortion pill when combined with misoprostol, a medication that produces cramping and empties the womb.
Also on Friday, Google, the company behind the popular search engine on the internet and the Android operating system that runs the majority of smartphones, announced that it would automatically delete information about users who visit abortion clinics or other locations that might result in legal issues.