State Legislation

Abortion providers ask US Supreme Court to send Texas’ Heartbeat Law back to pro-abortion federal judge

By Dave Andrusko

Abortion providers have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to expedite their challenge to the Texas Heartbeat law by taking it out of the hands of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and giving it back to the federal judge, U.S. Judge Robert Pitman. The Heartbeat law–Senate Bill 8–protects unborn children whose hearts have begun to beat, usually at about 6 weeks of pregnancy. 

 “Rather than remanding the case to the district court, though, the 5th Circuit decided in a split decision to hear arguments in the case on Friday and will consider whether the case should be sent to the Texas Supreme Court to proceed,” The Texas Tribune reported.

 “Now, abortion providers say the case is stuck there and should be returned to a federal trial judge in Texas so they can proceed with their legal challenge,” according to Pete Williams of NBC News.

“Texas has asked the appeals court to consider what it says are lingering legal questions about the ability of the abortion providers to sue licensing officials,” Williams wrote. “Lawyers for the Center for Reproductive Rights said in a petition filed Monday that the U.S. Supreme Court has already decided the issue and that Texas and the appeals court are stalling.”

“The Fifth Circuit has no issues left to resolve in the appeal before it and no authority to retain jurisdiction,” CRR argued.

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed only one narrow challenge against medical licensing officials to proceed. Meanwhile, the Heartbeat Law has remained in place saving hundreds of babies.As reported by NRL News Today last month, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the law to remain in effect. “It also said the providers couldn’t sue state judges, county clerks, the state’s attorney general, and an anti-abortion advocate,” Mary Ann Pazanowski of Bloomberg News reported, “This left the administrative officials as the only defendants.”

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