Texas abortion businesses suffered another defeat Monday when a federal court rejected their request to send their case against the state heartbeat law back to a judge who previously blocked it.
Instead, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals sent the case to the conservative Texas Supreme Court, which is more likely to allow the abortion ban to remain in effect.
The ruling was bad news for the billion-dollar abortion industry and good news for mothers and babies, thousands of whom have been saved from abortion since the law went into effect in September.
The Texas law prohibits abortions once an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable, about six weeks of pregnancy, and abortion businesses estimate their abortion numbers are down as much as 80 percent, according to the Texas Tribune.
Nancy Northup, CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which is representing the Texas abortion businesses, said the abortion ban could remain in effect for weeks or months as a result of the ruling Monday.
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“There is now no end in sight for this injustice that has been allowed to go on for almost five months,” Northup said in a statement.
Speaking with Politico, Center for Reproductive Rights attorney Marc Hearron described the situation as bleak after both the U.S. Supreme Court and the Fifth Circuit refused to block the law.
“There’s a part of our case left against these licensing officials, and it’s an important part of the case, but people need to understand that even what’s left is being delayed and strung out while patients across Texas are denied their constitutional rights,” Hearron said.
In December, the Supreme Court left only part of the abortion groups’ lawsuit in place and sent the case back to the Fifth Circuit for consideration. It also threw out a second lawsuit by President Joe Biden‘s administration.
At this point, the court battle is not about the abortion ban itself but procedural questions involving the private enforcement mechanism that allows individuals to sue abortionists who violate the ban on abortions once an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable.
Though the legal wranglings are complex, Texas Right to Life pointed out that abortion activists’ goal is simple: Convince a court to block the law.
“Beneath the abortion industry’s legal maneuvers is deep desperation to move quickly to stop the law,” the pro-life organization said earlier this month. “Abortionists recognize that they are running out of time with an impending decision from the U.S. Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health that could overturn Roe v. Wade.”
Since Sept. 1, the heartbeat law has stopped almost all abortions in the state. Texas Right to Life estimates as many as 100 unborn babies are being spared from abortion every day. And if the law remains in effect much longer, many Texas abortion businesses may close, according to the Texas Tribune.
This is good news for mothers and babies. Abortions do not help women or save them from death. They intentionally and unnecessarily kill unborn babies – unique and irreplaceable human beings who are living and growing in their mothers’ wombs.
Texas is an example of what a post-Roe v. Wade America could look like, a place where mothers are supported and empowered and their children are valued from the moment they come into existence.
“Pregnant women need compassionate health care providers who listen to their needs, not an ‘easy way out’ of challenging circumstances,” Christina Bennett, a news correspondent for Live Action and a member of the National Black Pro-Life Coalition, wrote at Angelus News this week. “They need to know of the more than 1,000 pregnancy resource centers in the United States that offer real support and reduce maternal mortality.”
Texas has been providing that support. Along with passing the heartbeat law in 2021, state lawmakers also increased support for programs that serve pregnant and parenting mothers and babies, ensuring that they have resources to choose life for their babies.
Those two actions are saving many, many lives.
A recent study from Texas Policy Evaluation Project at the University of Texas at Austin the found that abortions in Texas dropped 50 percent the first month the heartbeat law went into effect. Since then, Texas abortion facility directors have reported even bigger drops in their abortion numbers, as high as 80 percent compared to the previous year, according to the Texas Tribune.
The heartbeat law has the potential to save tens of thousands of unborn babies from abortion every year. 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.