United States: Justice restores Texas anti-abortion law

A Federal Court of Appeal on Friday allowed Texas to reinstate a law banning the majority of abortions in this American state, two days after the blocking of this controversial text.

This ultra-restrictive law, which came into force on September 1, prohibits abortion once the embryo’s heartbeat is detected, at around six weeks of pregnancy, when most women do not know they are pregnant.

It had been temporarily blocked Wednesday by a federal judge in Texas, Robert Pitman, following a complaint from the government of Joe Biden. “This court will not allow this shocking deprivation of such an important right to continue one more day,” the judge wrote in his decision.

Abortions beyond six weeks then resumed in state clinics.

Texas Attorney General, Republican Ken Paxton, appealed to New Orleans Federal Court, considered one of the most conservative in the country, which ruled in his favor.

“Big news tonight,” Paxton tweeted as soon as the appeal decision was released. “I will fight the excesses of the federal government at every turn,” he added.

In all likelihood, the US federal government will challenge the decision of the Court of Appeals to the US Supreme Court.

The latter guaranteed in 1973, in its emblematic judgment Roe V. Wade, the right of women to have an abortion, and then specified that it applied as long as the fetus is not viable, ie around 22 weeks of pregnancy.

In recent years, laws comparable to that of Texas have been passed by a dozen other conservative states and struck down in court for violating this jurisprudence.

– “Right turn” –

But in September, for the first time in nearly half a century, the Supreme Court refused to block the entry into force of Texas law, which similarly violates this principle.

The high court justified its inaction by “new questions of procedure”, the law of Texas comprising a single device: it entrusts “exclusively” to the citizens the task of enforcing the measure by inciting them to file a complaint against organizations or people who help women to have illegal abortions.

The Supreme Court’s position in this case was seen as a “right turn” of the high court which has six out of nine conservative justices, including three appointed by Donald Trump.

On October 2, thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of America to defend the right to abortion.

The Supreme Court is also due to examine this fall a Mississippi law which prohibits abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, and could take the opportunity to write in black and white a reversal of its jurisprudence.

If the Court were to overturn Roe v. Wade, every state would be free to ban or allow abortions. About 36 million women in 26 states, or nearly half of American women of childbearing age, would likely lose the right to abort, according to a Planned Parenthood report released in early October.

Source: Challenges en temps réel : accueil by www.challenges.fr.

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