Abortions up to about six weeks in pregnancy can resume at some clinics in Texas for now after a Harris County District Court judge granted a temporary restraining order Tuesday that blocks an abortion ban that was in place before Roe v. Wade.
“It is a relief that this Texas state court acted so quickly to block this deeply harmful abortion ban,” Marc Hearron, senior counsel at the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a press release. “This decision will allow abortion services to resume at many clinics across the state, connecting Texans to the essential health care they need. Every hour that abortion is accessible in Texas is a victory.”
A hearing has been set for July 12 to decide on a more permanent restraining order.
However, Tuesday’s ruling is only a stopgap measure that, at most, will extend abortion access in the state for two months.
Paul Linton, an attorney for the anti-abortion group Texas Alliance for Life, said he thought a higher court would soon vacate the temporary restraining order and that the pre-Roe abortion ban should stand.
“I don’t think it has any merit,” Linton said. “I don’t think there’s any plausible argument that the laws have been expressly repealed, and the repeal-by-implication argument, I think, is very weak.”
A group of abortion providers filed a lawsuit Monday to prevent an old abortion ban, which predates Roe v. Wade, from being enforced before a trigger law banning most abortions in the state goes into effect.