After a federal judge issued a temporary injunction against Senate Bill 8, the extreme anti-abortion law that went into effect in Texas on September 1, the appeal from the state came almost immediately. And within less than 48 hours the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals delivered by reinstating SB 8 on Friday evening.
The Fifth Circuit panel specifically granted a temporary stay of the injunction from federal judge Robert Pitman. The Department of Justice has until Tuesday afternoon to respond to the motion.
One of the Fifth Circuit judges on the panel who delivered the temporary stay is James Ho, a Trump appointee from the Federalist Society who is extremely hostile to abortion rights. Ho was recently a featured speaker at a Federalist Society conference in Dallas alongside Jonathan Mitchell, the former Solicitor General of Texas who is considered the architect of SB 8.
While many abortion providers and advocates applauded the injunction against SB 8 from Judge Pittman, many were cautious about whether services would resume. A clause in SB 8 specifically cites that an abortion provider could be liable for a procedure during a period when the legislation is overruled or blocked from enforcement.
Whole Women’s Health, an abortion provider in Texas, did resume services for abortions past six weeks until the ruling from the Fifth Circuit. On Twitter they reacted to the ruling writing, “Our patients deserve better. Texans deserve better.”
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