OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
A Democrat judge has stepped in to issue a restraining order against a pro-life group from suing, using the Texas abortion law that prevents abortions after six weeks.
Democrats celebrated the news, but their celebration was short-lived because they did not notice the fine print, The New York Times reported.
A Texas judge granted a temporary restraining order against the state’s largest anti-abortion group on Friday, blocking it from suing Planned Parenthood under the terms of the restrictive abortion law that went into effect this week.
Planned Parenthood will still have to comply with the law, which bans most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. But under the order, the anti-abortion group, Texas Right to Life, or its associates cannot enforce the law by filing suit against Planned Parenthood, as allowed under the measure.
The judge, Maya Guerra Gamble of State District Court in Travis County, found that the law, Senate Bill 8, created “a probable, irreparable, and imminent injury,” at least temporarily, for Planned Parenthood, its staff and its patients, all of whom “would have no adequate remedy” if they were sued by Texas Right to Life or anyone affiliated with the group.
“Today, the District Court for Travis County granted a temporary restraining order against Texas Right to Life and its associates, stopping them from suing abortion providers and health care workers at Planned Parenthood health centers in Texas under the newly in-effect “sue thy neighbor” abortion ban, S.B. 8. The U.S. Supreme Court allowed the law, which bans abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, to go into effect on Wednesday. Millions of Texans are now without access to abortion, and providers and support networks are vulnerable to malicious lawsuits,” Planned Parenthood said in a press release.
“The temporary restraining order was filed by Planned Parenthood South Texas Surgical Center, Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas Surgical Health Services, Planned Parenthood Center for Choice, and Planned Parenthood Center for Choice abortion provider Dr. Bhavik Kumar. Under the temporary restraining order, Texas Right to Life, its legislative director John Seago, and anyone acting in concert with them is barred from bringing lawsuits against Planned Parenthood, Dr. Kumar, and employees of the Texas health centers under S.B. 8’s private enforcement provision while litigation against the unconstitutional law continues,” it said.
“S.B. 8 is already decimating abortion access in the state, as providers are forced to turn people away under the six-week abortion ban. Historically, the overwhelming majority — 85 to 90 percent — of Texans who obtain abortions in the state are at least six weeks into pregnancy. Under S.B. 8, the nation’s first six-week abortion ban allowed to take effect, few will be able to receive care in the state, forcing patients to bear the financial and emotional cost of traveling elsewhere for essential care, and during a pandemic. For many Texans, particularly those who are Black or Latinx, who have low incomes, or who live in rural areas, abortion will be completely unattainable,” it said.
But here is the kicker, the judge only blocked Texas Right to Life from suing, it does not stop any other individual or group from suing nor does it stop the law from taking effect. Something that many who were celebrating likely did not notice.
Here’s to Judge Maya Guerra Gamble for temporarily blocking the abortion ban in Texas. 🙌🏼🙌🏼 pic.twitter.com/tdVjjasfpu
— Elijah Wood (@elijahwood) September 4, 2021
RBG would be proud! Thank you Judge Maya Guerra Gamble! https://t.co/pMTx6tnjAf
— Dayton 🇺🇸🏳️🌈🇮🇹🌮 (@MValcore) September 4, 2021
Whoever the judge is that had the balls to block this has Ruth Bader Ginsburg type respect from me right now. 💯
— 🃏Jester's Trix🃏 (@JestersTrix) September 3, 2021
You can believe me or not but this is how I work as a clairvoyant medium I just went and put these pictures together and heard the word "Notorious" RBG and Maya Guerra Gamble I get more energy information like this in the middle of the night They almost look like sisters 😂💜🌟🌟 pic.twitter.com/YUHRT4rDB6
— Brooke22 🦋 🇺🇸 💚 🌊 (@J0Y_88) September 4, 2021
“To be clear: Today Planned Parenthood affiliates in TX received a TRO against Texas Right to Life only. The order from the Travis Co Judge DOES NOT stop other individuals not associated or working with TRTL from suing the abortion giant,” Texas Right To Life said in a tweet.
To be clear: Today Planned Parenthood affiliates in TX received a TRO against Texas Right to Life only. The order from the Travis Co Judge DOES NOT stop other individuals not associated or working with TRTL from suing the abortion giant. https://t.co/eIddl8b7Tn #prolife #txlege
— Texas Right to Life (Text ProLife to 40237) (@TXRightToLife) September 4, 2021
“This new desperate effort by abortionists comes after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to intervene in a similar lawsuit on Wednesday, which permitted the Texas Heartbeat Act to take effect,” Texas Right to Life said after the decision by Judge Gamble.
“Planned Parenthood can keep suing us, but Texas Right to Life will never back down from protecting pregnant women and preborn children from abortion,” Elizabeth Graham, the vice president of the group, said.