Texas abortion ban remains in place indefinitely after court ruling

© Provided by Agencia EFE

Washington, Jan 17 (EFE) .- A federal appeals court in the United States issued a ruling on Monday that, in practice, promises to cause the almost total veto of abortion in Texas, which does not contain exceptions for cases of incest or violation, remain in effect for months.

Almost a month after the US Supreme Court left in force the controversial veto of Texas, which prohibits abortion from six weeks of gestation, a panel of the court of appeals for the Fifth Circuit returned to rule on the measure.

Two of the three judges on that panel decided to send the case to the Texas Supreme Court for it to interpret the constitutionality of the veto, a ruling that means the legislation, which went into effect last September, will remain in effect indefinitely, at least while the process continues in the courts.

“The Texas Supreme Court must interpret the unresolved issues into state law,” conservative-leaning Justice Edith Jones wrote in her decision in the case.

The court thus rejected the request of the clinics that perform abortions in Texas, which this month asked the court to remand the case to a lower federal court that already temporarily blocked the veto in October.

In December, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the controversial law, leaving abortion clinics in the state almost out of the question, allowing them only to sue medical licensing boards, but not state or judicial officials.

Texas law allows individuals to file civil lawsuits against anyone who helps a pregnant woman get an abortion if they believe they are violating the ban, and offers damages of up to $10,000 to each plaintiff for a successful lawsuit.

This peculiar system has allowed the Texas authorities to avoid responsibility for the application of the law, because the weight of the implementation falls on private citizens and not on the conservative leaders who promoted the veto.

The Supreme Court plans to decide in the middle of this year on another Mississippi law that would prevent abortion after 15 weeks in that state, in a case that could mean the end of the legal precedent set by that same court in 1973, known like “Roe vs. Wade.”

The 1973 decision forced all US states to guarantee the right to abortion for any reason until the moment of “viability” of the fetus outside the womb, around 23 or 24 weeks of pregnancy.

In the past decade, however, numerous conservative states have passed rules that blatantly violate the parameters of “Roe versus Wade,” with the express goal of getting the Supreme Court to review and overturn that decision.

If the Supreme Court strikes down “Roe versus Wade,” each US territory would be free to ban or allow abortion as it pleased, and it is expected that, in that case, more than half of the states in the country would take steps to veto it. EFE


(c) EFE Agency

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