A Harris County District Court judge granted a temporary restraining order that blocks officials from enforcing the pre-Roe vs. Wade ban on abortions.
After the U.S. U.S. Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to the procedure nationwide, Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton said the near century-old ban was back in effect. In the ruling issued Tuesday, Judge Christine Weems ruled that the pre-Roe abortion ban “is repealed and may not be enforced consistent with the due process guaranteed by the Texas constitution.”
For now, abortions for pregnancies up to six weeks can resume in the state at the clinics named in the lawsuit. Whole Woman’s Health, which operates abortion clinics in McAllen, McKinney, Fort Worth and Austin, said it would resume providing abortions as a result of this ruling. Other clinics include Alamo Women’s Reproductive Services in San Antonio, Brookside Women’s Medical Center and Austin Women’s Health Center in Austin, Houston Women’s Clinic and Houston Women’s Reproductive Services in Houston, and Southwestern Women’s Surgery Center in Dallas.
“Every hour that abortion is accessible in Texas is a victory,” Marc Hearron, a lawyer for the abortion providers at Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement.
A further hearing to decide on a more permanent restraining order is scheduled for July 12. However, Tuesday’s ruling is only a stopgap measure that, at most, will extend abortion access in the state for two months.