Judge said that he was especially troubled by Texas's statute design. It was designed to make it difficult to challenge abortion rights advocates because there is no direct enforcement from state officials or prosecutors.
Pitman, a President Barack Obama appointee based in Austin Texas, stated that it is the deliberate design of the law by state agents for the sole purpose of avoiding judicial scrutiny that sets it apart.
The White House and Justice Department both praised the decision.
Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, stated that tonight's ruling was an important step towards restoring constitutional rights for women in Texas. She said that the fight for women's rights is only beginning in Texas, as well as in other states in this country.
Attorney General Merrick Garland stated in a statement that today's Texas law enjoining it is a victory for women and the rule of law. The Department of Justice has the primary responsibility of defending the Constitution. We will continue to defend constitutional rights against anyone who would attempt to subvert them.
Lawyers for Texas asked Pitman to stop his ruling if the federal request was granted to enjoin it. But he refused.
The judge stated that the State has abandoned the right to such accommodation and pursued an aggressive and unprecedented scheme to deny its citizens a well-established constitutional right. Since the date S.B. Since the S.B. 8 was implemented, women have been illegally restricted from exercising control over their lives in ways protected by the Constitution.
Texas, based in New Orleans, filed a notice to appeal Pitman's decision within an hour. Circuit Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court will likely hear the appeal within weeks.
The new law was criticized by abortion providers as it severely curtailed the right to have an abortion in Texas. However, Texas' Supreme Court precedent has protected the right to terminate a pregnant woman's rights for nearly 50 years.
The Supreme Court voted 5-4 to reject a request by abortion providers to stop the law from taking effect on September 1. The justices expressed doubts about constitutionality of the heartbeat law. This law seeks to ban abortions after a fetus has reached six weeks gestational age, when cardiac activity is usually detected. Further legal action was also possible, according to the high court.
The District Court ruling ends the 36-day period in which almost all abortions were halted statewide, for the first time since 1973's Roe vs Wade decision.
We hope that the courts will block S.B. 8 will allow Texas abortion providers the opportunity to resume their services as soon as possible," said Alexis McGill Johnson (President and CEO of Planned Parenthood).
Some clinics may be reluctant to offer abortions again after six weeks. However, a Texas provision would permit them to sue for abortions performed while an injunction was in effect. If the law is later restored by a higher court,
The block is temporary, and we don't know what it means for care yet," said Whole Womans Health spokesperson. Whole Womans Health runs many abortion clinics in the state, and was a party to the lawsuit.
The Wednesday decision could also affect efforts in Florida, South Dakota, and other states to adopt copycat laws.
The ruling was celebrated by the Democrats on Capitol Hill, but they called for legislative action. This is in reference to the precarious situation of abortion rights under the right-leaning Supreme Court, which will be revisiting Roe vs. Wade in Dec. If the court rules that states can prohibit the procedure prior to the point of fetal viability in Mississippi, laws similar to the one in Texas could quickly spread.
Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Col.), co-leads Congress Pro-Choice Caucus, stated that we can't continue to rely upon the whims and courts in this fight.
DeGette and her coworkers are pushing the Senate for approval of the Womens Health Protection Act. This bill, which aims to impose federal protections to abortion access, narrowly passed the House last Month. It is currently awaiting a Senate voting that is unlikely to survive.
Pitman's decision to block a law that he considered unconstitutional was part of a retort at the Supreme Court for not intervening a little more than a month ago, when it had the chance.
Pitman stated that while other courts might find a way around this conclusion, this Court will not approve of another day of offensive deprivation.