A US federal appeals court has temporarily reinstated Texas’s near total ban on abortions.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to a request from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton that an injunction imposed against the law be lifted.
On Wednesday, a lower court had temporarily blocked the bill for the “offensive deprivation” of the constitutional right to an abortion.
The restrictive law bans all abortions at around six weeks of pregnancy.
The bill, which came came into effect on 1 September, makes no exceptions for pregnancies caused by rape or incest.
It also lets ordinary citizens enforce the ban, rewarding them at least $10,000 if they successfully sue anyone who helped provide an abortion after foetal cardiac activity is detected. Critics of the law have said this provision enables people to act as anti-abortion bounty hunters.
District Judge Robert Pitman granted a request by the Biden administration to prevent any enforcement of the law while its legality is being challenged on Wednesday. He held that “women have been unlawfully prevented from exercising control over their lives in ways that are protected by the Constitution”.
However, Texas officials immediately appealed the ruling, which the New Orleans based Fifth Circuit court has agreed to set aside. It ordered the justice department to respond to its ruling by Tuesday.
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