Federal Appeals Court Rejects Abortion Businesses’ Request to Block Texas Abortion Ban

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 10, 2021   |   3:01PM   |   Washington, DC

The Texas abortion ban can keep saving unborn children from abortions. That’s the result of a ruling issued today by a three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which rejected another request by abortion businesses to stop the Texas abortion ban.

Two weeks after issuing an administrative stay temporarily blocking Texas abortion companies from stopping the Texas abortion ban while their lawsuit against it continues, Judges Jones, Duncan and Engelhardt issued a 20-page opinion granting a stay pending an expedited appeal. That blocks the pro-abortion lawsuit further and ensures the pro-life law will stay in effect until the court examines the underlying lawsuit.

Essentially they ruled that because the law provides for a private right of action as opposed to enforcement by the state attorney general,. the abortion centers can’t stop the law.

“First, as to the state officials’ appeal. The district court denied the officials’ Eleventh Amendment immunity defenses, and they immediately appealed under the collateral-order doctrine. The district court properly stayed proceedings against those defendants. However, the plaintiffs then sought an emergency motion for injunction pending appeal, premised on their argument that the district court’s Eleventh Amendment immunity ruling was correct. We previously DENIED that motion and now explain why. S.B. 8 emphatically precludes enforcement by any state, local, or agency officials. The defendant officials thus lack any “enforcement connection” to S.B. 8 and are not amenable to suit under Ex parte Young, 209 U.S. 123 (1908).”

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 against a request from pro-abortion groups to temporarily block enforcement of the pro-life law. In their ruling, the Supreme Court said the pro-abortion groups did not provide sufficient reasons to justify blocking the law.

“The applicants now before us have raised serious questions regarding the constitutionality of the Texas law at issue,” the majority wrote. “But their application also presents complex and novel antecedent procedural questions on which they have not carried their burden. … In light of such issues, we cannot say the applicants have met their burden to prevail in an injunction or stay application.”

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Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett made up the majority in the decision. The justices who dissented were Chief Justice John Roberts, Justices Elena Kagan, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor. Kagan, Breyer and Sotomayor also wrote separate dissents slamming the court for allowing Texas to restrict abortions.

Yesterday, in a separate lawsuit, Joe Biden filed suit to overturn the Texas abortion ban that has saved hundreds of babies from abortions. In announcing the lawsuit, Attorney General Merrick Garland  falsely claimed the Constitution has a right to abortion.

“The Department of Justice has a duty to defend the constitution of the United States and to uphold the rule of law,” he said.

“The act is clearly unconstitutional under longstanding Supreme Court precedent,” he said. “Those precedents hold, in the words of Planned Parenthood v. Casey that ‘regardless of whether exceptions are made for particular circumstances, a state may not prohibit any woman from making the ultimate decision to terminate her pregnancy before viability.’”

The Justice Department is seeking a permanent injunction against the law.

Garland complained that the law has been working so far to protect unborn children.

“Because this statute makes it too risky for an abortion clinic to stay open, abortion providers have ceased providing services,” he said. “This leaves women in Texas unable to exercise their constitutional rights and unable to obtain judicial review at the very moment they need it.”

The national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) blasted Biden after the announcement.

SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser told LifeNews: “The Texas Heartbeat Act is a response to fifty years of Supreme Court interference in states’ legitimate interest in protecting life and their right to debate and pass laws reflecting their people’s values. Biden, Pelosi and their radical allies want to permanently stifle that debate and impose abortion on demand up until the moment of birth, paid for by taxpayers.”

“The Heartbeat Act reflects clear science showing the humanity of unborn children, including a beating heart by six weeks. This law saves lives every day it is in effect. Texas is further leading in compassion for women and families with its $100 million Alternatives to Abortion state program and ten times as many pro-life pregnancy centers as abortion facilities. We are proud to stand with them. Washington Democrats should not mess with Texas when it comes to protecting innocent life,” she added.

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Today is the 10th day the Texas abortion ban is protecting babies from abortion, but the “devout Catholic” Biden has been a radical abortion activist as president and the Justice Department is putting together legal documents to try to get the courts to overturn the law.

The Texas heartbeat law went into effect Sept. 1, prohibiting abortions once an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable, about six weeks of pregnancy. The U.S. Supreme Court refused Planned Parenthood’s and other pro-abortion groups’ request to temporarily block enforcement of the law. However, the court battle is not over.

The Biden administration also appeared to be making the convoluted argument that the Texas abortion ban is somehow a violation of a federal law passed during the Clinton administration that prohibits violent activities outside abortion centers. But the Texas law and its allowance of private citizens to enforce the law via lawsuits against abortionists and those who assist them in killing babies in no way engages in any violent actions, as the violence takes place inside the abortion center.

Garland said, “While the Justice Department urgently explores all options to challenge Texas SB8 in order to protect the constitutional rights of women and other persons, including access to an abortion, we will continue to protect those seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services pursuant to our criminal and civil enforcement of the FACE Act, 18 U.S.C. § 248.”

“The FACE Act prohibits the use or threat of force and physical obstruction that injures, intimidates, or interferes with a person seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services,” the statement continued. “It also prohibits intentional property damage of a facility providing reproductive health services. The department has consistently obtained criminal and civil remedies for violations of the FACE Act since it was signed into law in 1994, and it will continue to do so now.”

Even a law professor told The Hill that the Biden administration has no solid argument to overturn the law.

“The ability of the Justice Department is really quite limited here. All of the possible actions I can think of, and there may be some I can’t, would require an actual case to happen first,” said Barbara McQuade, a University of Michigan law professor and former U.S. attorney during the Obama administration.

“By crowd sourcing the enforcement, you’ve created this kind of vague class of defendants to be sued,” McQuade added, noting that there can’t be a defendant until a lawsuit is filed.

The Texas pro-life law is already saving babies from abortion. San Antonio, Texas has four abortion facilities, but only one has been in operation since the new heartbeat law went into effect last week. The fourth abortion facility, Alamo Women’s Clinic, appears to still be aborting unborn babies up to about six weeks of pregnancy when the baby’s heartbeat is detectable, according to its website. Before the law went into effect, however, it used to abort unborn babies all the way up to 22 weeks of pregnancy.

Through the Texas heartbeat law and other measures, the state is working to protect and empower mothers and babies. In 2020, about 54,000 unborn babies were aborted in Texas, and about 85 percent happened after six weeks of pregnancy, according to state health statistics. With the heartbeat law in effect, tens of thousands of babies could be spared from abortion every year in Texas.

Meanwhile, pro-life advocates are reaching out to pregnant women across Texas with compassion and understanding, offering resources and emotional support to help them and their babies. Earlier this year, state lawmakers increased support for pregnant and parenting mothers and babiesensuring that they have resources to choose life for their babies.

Unique from other state heartbeat laws, the Texas law includes a private enforcement mechanism that allows people to file lawsuits against abortionists who violate the law and those who help them.

It is these lawsuits and the risk of financial loss that are deterring the abortion industry from breaking the law.

Chelsey Youman, the Texas state director of Human Coalition, told News 4 that the goal of the pro-life movement is to support mothers and babies, not just to ban abortions.

“Our organizations will continue to advocate for a society where women and their children thrive without abortion,” Youman said.

Whether the Texas law will remain in effect or ultimately be upheld as constitutional in court remains uncertain, but pro-life leaders are hopeful now that the Supreme Court has a conservative majority.