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Texas Supreme Court Unfreezes 1928 Abortion Ban

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


The Texas Supreme Court has nixed a lower court decision and allowed the state’s new abortion laws to take effect.

The court allowed the 1925 state ban on abortion to take effect in a ruling delivered late on Friday night, The New York Times reported.

The decision was the latest in a series of legal battles across the country following the Supreme Court ruling on June 24 that overturned Roe v. Wade, a half-century-old ruling that had established a nationwide constitutional right to an abortion.

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In Texas, that meant a 1925 law written before Roe, which had banned abortions and punished those who performed them with possible imprisonment, automatically came into effect, said Ken Paxton, the state’s attorney general. Though not enforced after the 1973 Supreme Court ruling on Roe, it had nevertheless remained on the books.

That ban was temporarily blocked by a Harris County judge after abortion clinics sued for a stay, arguing that it had effectively been repealed after the landmark Roe ruling.

“Pro-life victory! Thanks to my appeal, SCOTX has slapped down the abortion providers and the district court carrying their water. Our state’s pre-Roe statutes banning abortion in Texas are 100% good law. Litigation continues, but I’ll keep winning for Texas’s unborn babies,” the Texas attorney general said in a tweet on Saturday.

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The state will continue to argue the case in the district court on July 12 against the American Civil Liberties Union and the lifting of the ban does not allow for criminal enforcement immediately.

“Extremist politicians are on a crusade to force Texans into pregnancy and childbirth against their will, no matter how devastating the consequences,” A.C.L.U. Reproductive Freedom Project attorney Julia Kaye said.

House Speaker and Democrat California Rep. Nancy Pelosi made a startling announcement to her caucus after the Supreme Court ended Roe V Wade.

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She said that the House would “further codify freedoms which Americans currently enjoy,” The Washington Examiner reported.

“Following the release of the draft decision, our pro-choice House Democratic Majority has been hard at work preparing for the possibility of this tragic outcome.  Our Caucus has been exploring avenues to protect the health and freedom of American women.  Among them is legislation that:

“Protects women’s most intimate and personal data stored in reproductive health apps.  Many fear that this information could be used against women by a sinister prosecutor in a state that criminalizes abortion,” she said.

“Makes clear that Americans have the Constitutional right to travel freely and voluntarily throughout the United States.

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“Once again passes the Women’s Health Protection Act: landmark legislation to enshrine Roe v. Wade into the law of the land,” the Speaker said.

The Speaker then went on to attack the institution of the Supreme Court and its Justices.

“In his disturbing concurrence, Justice Clarence Thomas confirmed many of our deepest fears about where this decision may lead: taking aim at additional long-standing precedent and cherished privacy rights, from access to contraception and in-vitro fertilization to marriage equality.  Legislation is being introduced to further codify freedoms which Americans currently enjoy.  More information to follow,” the Speaker said.

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“It is still appalling to me that the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court would agree that a Constitutional right does not exist if it was not spelled out explicitly and in public when the 14th Amendment was ratified over 150 years ago,” she said.

“While this extremist Supreme Court works to punish and control the American people, Democrats must continue our fight to expand freedom in America.  Doing so is foundational to our oath of office and our fidelity to the Constitution.

“It is clear from how Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell stacked the Supreme Court that elections have ramifications.  It is essential that we protect and expand our pro-choice Majorities in the House and Senate in November so that we can eliminate the filibuster so that we can restore women’s fundamental rights – and freedom for every American,” she said.

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