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Texas judge rules premature abortions can be resumed, but unclear for how long

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — Abortion rights advocates in Texas clinched a victory Tuesday, but there’s no telling how long it will last. A judge temporarily ruled people can get early abortions again, but the attorney general promises to appeal the decision.

“The judge’s decision is wrong. I will appeal immediately.” Those words came from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in a statement following a Harris County judge’s decision to temporarily block a 1920s law prohibiting abortion in Texas.

SEE ALSO: Abortions before 6 weeks may resume in Texas after court order

“Right now nobody can file criminal charges against you. But what happens in three weeks or a month when the Texas Supreme Court rules that the trial judge made a mistake?” said Seth Chandler, a law professor at the University of Houston.

This uncertainty puts providers in a difficult position. Planned Parenthood does not currently offer abortion services, but Houston Women’s Reproductive Services and The Houston Women’s Clinic do.

“Can prosecutors go back and basically prosecute someone for an action they thought was fine? It’s not an easy question, and I suspect that’s why you’re seeing a mixed response (Tuesday) from abortion providers in Texas,” Kramer said.

Whole Woman’s Health is one of the providers who applied for the injunction Tuesday. Its President and CEO, Amy Hagstrom Miller, released the following statement:

“Any day that we can provide the abortions that Texans need and deserve is a good day!” This TRO means we now have the opportunity to open our doors in Texas before the trigger ban goes into effect in a month or two. When news of the TRO spread across the WWH and WWHA family, we immediately began calling patients on our waiting lists and getting our staff and providers back to the clinics to resume abortion care as soon as possible . Yes, we are reopening to offer treatment at our four Texas clinics. Keep in mind that Texas still enforces a two-visit requirement and a 24-hour wait, as well as the six-week ban and other restrictions. Despite these obstacles, our clinic staff is ready and eager to welcome patients back.”

On the other hand, Paxton said, “Texas laws protecting the unborn will win.” However, he still needs an intermediary appeals court or the Texas Supreme Court to agree

“If Paxton can get one of those courts to act quickly, the lifespan of that TRO could actually be less than two weeks,” Chandler said.

As a result, it remains uncertain how long some providers will be offering abortion services, when the trigger ban that almost completely outlaws the process is expected to take effect, and what litigation may end up in court. For now, abortion care for people up to six weeks pregnant in Texas is again available in a limited number of clinics, where providers are committed to helping as many people as possible for as long as possible.

For updates on this story, follow Briana Conner on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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https://abc13.com/texas-judge-blocks-abortion-ban-law-blocked-2022-exceptions-new/12002422/ Texas judge rules premature abortions can be resumed, but unclear for how long

Dais Johnston

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