TYLER, Texas (KETK) — A Harris County judge temporarily blocked the abortion ban on Tuesday that was in place before Roe v. Wade, allowing abortions until up to six weeks of pregnancy in the state of Texas.
This ruling by the Harris County District Judge comes after a group of abortion providers sued the state on Monday over its pre-Roe laws following the overturn of the once precedented Roe v. Wade on Friday. The heartbeat bill was signed into law in Texas in May 2021, making abortions illegal once a heartbeat is detected.
Attorney General Ken Paxton released an advisory that stated providers could be held criminally liable for performing abortions, citing a 1952 Texas statute that banned abortions in Texas. The statute was never repealed but was nullified in 1973 when Roe v. Wade protected abortion rights, according to our affiliate KXAN.
Leaders of the Republican and Democratic parties in East Texas weighed in:
“I don’t think it has any merit, I don’t think there’s any plausible cause… I think it’s very weak. I really feel like we’ll have victory after that date (July 12). We’ve implemented many ways to help women who have unplanned pregnancies, offered a lot of money to help those women. We think that (the ban) will be permanent and that a higher court will vacate the temporary retraining order and reinstate the pre Roe abortion ban.”Brian Bowden, Gregg County Republican Party Chair
“It is a good idea. It’s temporary and hopefully, it becomes permanent. We agree with that.”
Phillip Burns, Gregg County Democratic Party Chair
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton had this to say:
“Today a Harris County judge froze pre-Roe laws criminalizing abortion in TX. But w/ SCOTUS’s Dobbs decision, these laws are 100% in effect & constitutional. The judge’s decision is wrong. I’m immediately appealing. I’ll ensure we have all the legal tools to keep TX pro-life!” Paxton tweeted.Ken Paxton, Texas Attorney General tweeted