Joe Biden is taking the Texas abortion ban to the Supreme Court, which has already ruled once before that it will not stop the ban from saving babies from abortions while the underlying lawsuit against it continues.
As LifeNews.com reported last night, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Joe Biden’s demand to stop the Texas abortion ban that has saved thousands of babies from abortion.
Last week, U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman, who was appointed by Barack Obama, sided with the Biden administration, which sued the state and argued Texas’ law was unconstitutional because it went against Roe v. Wade.
Shortly after Judge Pitman issued his order, Texas officials quickly appealed and they sought an emergency stay in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Appellate judges then temporarily blocked the lower court’s ruling and the Justice Department asked the full appellate court to reverse its order and block the Texas abortion ban.
Last night. the 5th Circuit rejected Biden’s demand, voting 2-1 to allow the ban to stay in place as the underlying lawsuit continues. This is the third time it has allowed the law to stay in effect, responding to various pro-abortion legal challenges.
Now, Biden is heading to the nation’s highest court to stop the Texas ban, which prohibits abortions when an unborn baby’s heartbeat can be measured at 6 weeks. Justice Department spokesman Anthony Coley said the federal government will now ask the Supreme Court to reverse that decision but did not say when the legal papers would officially be filed.
“The Justice Department intends to ask the Supreme Court to vacate the Fifth Circuit’s stay of the preliminary injunction against Texas Senate Bill 8,” Coley said in a statement.
The Texas Attorney General’s Office called the appellate court decision a “testament that we are on the right side of the law and life.”
A group of abortion businesses asked the Supreme Court to block the law in September, but it ruled against them.
The new order Thursday could keep Judge Pitman’s decision on hold for many months while the case continues, unless the Supreme Court steps in.
SUPPORT LIFENEWS! To help us stand against Joe Biden’s abortion agenda, please help LifeNews.com with a donation!
Texas Right to Life told LifeNews is was delighted with the appeals court ruling.
Texas Right to Life Director of Media and Communication Kimberlyn Schwartz responded: “We are excited to continue saving hundreds of lives through the Texas Heartbeat Act. However, the battle is not finished. We expect the Biden administration to appeal to the Supreme Court of the U.S., and we are confident Texas will ultimately defeat these attacks on our life-saving efforts.”
Typically, state governments enforce pro-life laws and, when the laws are challenged, judges can block the states from enforcing them in a preliminary injunction. However, the Texas law leaves enforcement up to individual people. So, judges are considering whether they can stop all private citizens from enforcing the law – especially without allowing private citizens the chance to defend themselves in court first.
The Texas law went into effect Sept. 1, prohibiting abortions once an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable, about six weeks of pregnancy. Thus far, the courts have refused to temporarily block the law, and as many as 4,000 unborn babies already have been spared from abortion.
Judge Pitman, when he ruled, claimed the pro-life law violated the Constitution even though it has no right to abortion.
“The United States is substantially likely to succeed on the merits of its claims. It is substantially likely that S.B. 8 violates the Fourteenth Amendment,” the judge wrote. “From the moment S.B. 8 went into effect, 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.”
In comments to LifeNews.com, Texas Right to Life blasted the opinion:
The ruling is wildly broad, preventing Texas state officials from enforcing the law, including the shocking order to block every Texas judge and court clerk from even receiving lawsuits filed by citizens against the abortion industry. The provision blocking lawmakers is entirely unnecessary since the language of the Texas Heartbeat Act already prohibits government officials from enforcing the policy. However, Pitman’s effort to obstruct state judges and court clerks from fulfilling their lawful duties is astonishing.
This is the legacy of Roe v. Wade: Judges catering to the abortion industry, crafting a conclusion first and then searching the depths of legal literature for a rationale later.
Pro-Life attorneys are likely to appeal the decision to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals immediately, in which we expect a fair hearing.
Until a higher court intervenes, the disappointing reality is that Pitman’s ruling will likely stop the Texas Heartbeat Act from being enforced.
Texas Right to Life maintained that abortionists could still be sued for violating the abortion ban, despite the ruling.
However, even with this ruling, abortionists can still be held liable for any abortions they commit in violation of the law.
The Texas Heartbeat Act states that an individual being sued under the law cannot claim as an affirmative defense that they were acting under the protection of a court order that had since been reversed or overturned:
“Notwithstanding any other law, the following [is] not a defense to an action brought under this section… a defendant’s reliance on any court decision that has been overruled on appeal or by a subsequent court, even if that court decision had not been overruled when the defendant engaged in conduct that violates this subchapter;” (Section 171.208(e)(3), Texas Health and Safety Code)Thus, those who aid or abet abortions, even if currently permitted by this ruling, could eventually be sued for their actions today.
“Texas Right to Life is dedicated to holding the abortion industry accountable to the fullest extent possible under the law. We are confident that the Texas Heartbeat Act will ultimately withstand this legal challenge and succeed where other states’ heartbeat bills have not,” the pro-life group concluded.
Will Thompson, an attorney representing Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s Office, told the judge that the federal government is using “inflammatory rhetoric” to attack the law, and the heartbeat law is not the only legislation that allows private enforcement.
“This is not some kind of vigilante scheme. It’s a scheme that uses the normal and lawful process,” Thompson said.
The Biden administration has taken multiple actions to thwart Texas’s efforts to save unborn babies from abortion. Along with the lawsuit, it also set aside $10 million – taxpayers’ money – to provide grants to the abortion industry in Texas and make additional Title X family planning funds available.
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.
While abortion activists say some women are traveling to other states for abortions, they admit that others are having their babies instead.
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 babies, ensuring that they have resources to choose life for their babies.
About a dozen states have passed heartbeat laws to protect unborn babies from abortion, but Texas is the first to be allowed to enforce its law. Whether the law will remain in effect or ultimately be upheld as constitutional in court remains uncertain, but pro-life leaders are hopeful now that the U.S. Supreme Court has a conservative majority.
A new Rasmussen poll shows Americans support the Texas abortion ban to save babies from abortion by a 46-43% margin.
The new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey from the national polling firm finds that 46% of Likely U.S. Voters support the new Texas law that effectively prohibits most abortions after six weeks when the heartbeat of an unborn baby can be detected. Just 43% oppose the pro-life law while 11% are undecided.
The results are not surprising as other polling data shows Americans support heartbeat laws. An April poll by the University of Texas-Austin found that 49 percent of Texans support making abortions illegal after six weeks of pregnancy, while 41 percent oppose it. In 2019, a national Hill-HarrisX survey also found that 55 percent of voters said they do not think laws banning abortions after six weeks – when an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable – are too restrictive.
Meanwhile, a Gallup poll this year found 52% of Americans want all or most abortions made illegal.
A January 2021 Marist Poll found a majority of Americans are pro-life and oppose all or virtually all abortions that take place in America today.