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Groups call on SCOTUS to prevent impending Texas abortion ban from going into effect

Several groups on Monday filed an emergency petition with the United States Supreme Court, asking it to prevent the entry into force of a very restrictive ban on abortion in Texas and to allow the prosecution of legal action against the ban in lower courts.

The demand – filed by Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for Reproductive Rights, The Lawyering Project and others is a last-ditch effort to stop a Texas law that would effectively ban abortion as early as six weeks pregnant. from will enter into force on time. The sweeping ban also allows anyone to enforce it – and offers incentives to do so by promising a $ 10,000 bounty to anyone who successfully sues someone who “helps or encourages” patients seeking abortions. in Texas.

“We have always said that we will do all we can to fight for our patients and their access to abortion, and that is why we are calling on the Supreme Court to intervene to prevent this abortion ban from coming into effect. force, “Alexis McGill Johnson said Monday the president and CEO of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

“Without relief, as of Wednesday most Texans will be forced to travel hundreds of miles out of state for their abortion, if they can afford it,” she said of the law. , which Texas Governor Greg Abbott (right) signed into law. May 19.

Whole Woman’s Health, an abortion clinic acting as plaintiff in the ongoing lawsuit to end the ban, says about 90% of abortions performed take place after six weeks because many patients are unaware that they are pregnant in these countries. first few weeks.

Monday’s emergency request comes after the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals – one of the most conservative courts in the country – delivered a series of swift punches to the groups behind the lawsuit, which was filed in federal district court on July 13. On Friday, the appeals court canceled an injunction hearing set for Monday, which would have given the groups an opportunity to persuade judges that the law should be blocked while the trial continues. The 5th Circuit Court also dismissed the groups’ request to expedite the appeal process due to the timeliness of the case.

Undeterred, the groups responded on Saturday by asking the court to either pronounce a suspension temporarily blocking the application of the law or to refer the case to the district court. The 5th Circuit Court dismissed the request on Sunday and the groups presented Monday’s emergency request to the Supreme Court.

“In less than two days, Texas politicians will have effectively toppled Roe v. Wade,” Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement Monday highlighting the stakes of their request.

While a dozen other states have passed laws similar to Texas, courts have not allowed any of them to come into force.

Monday’s emergency request calls on the Supreme Court to act immediately, which would leave no time for full briefings or oral arguments. In their petition, abortion rights groups highlighted the precedent the court set with Roe v. Wade in 1973.

“Almost fifty years ago, this court ruled that Texas could not ban abortion before viability,” says the request. “Yet in the absence of intervention from this Court, in less than two days, Wednesday, September 1, Texas will do just that.

With the addition of Justice Amy Coney Barrett last year, the Supreme Court panel of judges are overwhelmingly conservative and hostile to access to abortion, leaving open the possibility that they will reject Monday’s petition.


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