Healthcare provider Whole Womans Health opened abortions for Texas patients, less than 24 hours after Texas temporarily banned abortions following six weeks of pregnancy Wednesday night.
Getty Images: Activists march to Washington's U.S. Capitol, October 2, 2021.
The Key Facts
Whole Womans Health, which has four Texas clinics, provided abortions to patients who had completed the Texas 24-hour waiting period. CEO Amy Hagstrom Miller spoke with reporters on Thursday. Miller said that the organization started the 24-hour process Thursday morning with some patients, so they could receive care as soon as Friday. Miller stated that although Whole Woman's Healths clinics were open following the Texas law's implementation in September, they were unable to provide abortions to hundreds.
Whole Woman's Health tweeted Thursday afternoon that every abortion we can offer is a win in this climate.
Texas law prohibits abortions in non emergency situations. If a provider detects fetal heart activity, it is illegal. This happens typically around six weeks into a woman's pregnancy. This law allows anyone to sue any person who aids or abets abortion, and can collect damages of at least $10,000 if they are successful. The U.S. Supreme Court did not overturn the law last month. This allowed for the nation to adopt some of its most strict abortion laws since 1973's Roe v. Wade decision. On Wednesday, Robert Pitman, a federal judge, sided with Texas' Department of Justice and temporarily stopped the law. He called it an offensive deprivation of constitutional right.
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Texas will appeal Pitman's decision, which means it will go to the conservative Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Pitman's injunction could be overturned. This is because Texas law does not allow defendants to claim that the law was stopped when an abortion occurred. Miller stated that some Whole Womans Health doctors are comfortable performing abortions in spite of the legal uncertainty. However, a larger number plan to wait for the Supreme Court's decision. Miller stated that good things sometimes happen in the Circuit Court [of Appeals].
Texas' Abortion Law has been repealed. These are the reasons that this law may not last for long. (Forbes)