In a huge win for the pro-life movement, a federal appeals court on Friday temporarily reinstated a Texas law that bans abortions after a baby’s heartbeat can be detected.
But Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a conservative Republican, then asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to suspend the district court’s injunction.
“Today I have filed a motion to stay the District Court’s lawless order in the 5th Circuit, the Texas Attorney General Twitter account posted Friday. “I’ll continue to fight against the Biden Administration’s overreach.”
Today I have filed a motion to stay the District Court’s lawless order in the 5th Circuit.
I’ll continue to fight against the Biden Administration’s overreach. #SB8
— Texas Attorney General (@TXAG) October 8, 2021
On Friday night, the appeals court granted Paxton’s request, at least for now. As BuzzFeed’s Zoe Tillman noted on Twitter, attorneys for the Biden administration’s Department of Justice have until Tuesday “to respond to Texas’s request for a longer-term stay of [District Court] Judge Pitman’s injunction while the state pursues its appeal of that order.”
DOJ will have until Tuesday at 5pm CT to respond to Texas's request for a longer-term stay of Judge Pitman's injunction while the state pursues its appeal of that order
— Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) October 9, 2021
“Tonight the Fifth Circuit has granted an administrative stay in the #SB8 case,” the Texas AG Twitter account posted Friday evening. “I will continue to fight to keep #Texas free from federal overreach.”
Tonight the Fifth Circuit has granted an administrative stay in the #SB8 case.
I will continue to fight to keep #Texas free from federal overreach.
— Texas Attorney General (@TXAG) October 9, 2021
The appeals court’s decision is not permanent, as the court still has to rule on the actual merits of the Texas abortion ban.
The legislation, which originally took effect last month after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to halt it, bans most abortions after roughly six weeks of pregnancy, and gives private citizens the ability to file suits against those who perform abortions or anyone who “knowingly engages in conduct that aids or abets the performance of inducement of an abortion.”
Pro-life advocates celebrated the federal appeals court’s action.
“This is an answered prayer. The Texas Heartbeat Act saves approximately 100 lives from abortion per day, and we’re grateful that this tremendous impact will continue,” Texas Right to Life Director of Media and Communication Kimberlyn Schwartz said in a statement.
“We expect the Biden administration to appeal to the Supreme Court of the U.S., and we are confident Texas will continue to defeat these attacks on our life-saving efforts.”