The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 Thursday to rule that a controversial law banning most abortions in Texas could remain in place as the court debates overturning a former judge’s ruling.
Appellate Judges Katherine Haynes and James Howe voted in favor of the law, while Appellate Judge Carl Stewart disagreed.
U.S. District Judge Robert Pittman originally ordered the abortion ban on Oct. 6, but the case was moved to the Court of Appeals after Texas challenged Pittman’s decision.
The appellate court ruled in favor of the law while further arguments were ongoing.
The law has been sharply criticized by the United States. Department of Justice (DOJ) as well as the Biden administration, and the court is now hearing an appeal to decide whether Putman’s block order can be upheld.
However, following Thursday’s ruling, the DOJ is likely to appeal to the US Supreme Court to declare the law unconstitutional. The High Court refused to overturn the law earlier this year, despite pressure from abortion rights and pro-election groups.
In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court said it would not intervene because abortion providers had not improved their case enough on “complex and new” questions.
The three liberal judges of the court, Chief Justice John Roberts, joined the dissent.
“The court’s ruling is astonishing,” Justice Sonia Stomayer objected. “A petition has been filed to order an unconstitutional law designed to prevent women from exercising their constitutional rights and to avoid judicial scrutiny. Most judges have chosen to bury their heads in the sand. ۔ “
Justice Elena Kagan had a similar opinion and wrote in her dissent that “[the Supreme Court] Only superficially reviewed party submissions, and then only in a hurry. And it’s hard to explain the consequences – a challenge to clearly unconstitutional abortion regulations backed by a completely unprecedented implementation scheme. “
The law completely prohibits abortion in the state of Texas, except in cases of rape or adultery. Only abortion will be allowed before the fetal heartbeat is detected.
It usually occurs at the 6th week of pregnancy, often before many women find out they are pregnant.
Critics of the law across the country cited the 1973 example as unconstitutional Rowe Wade, In which the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution protected the right of women to abortion.
Direct challenge. Rowe Wade The Supreme Court, unrelated to Texas law, will hold a hearing on December 1, when Mississippi will debate whether to uphold its abortion ban after 15 weeks.
Newsweek Has contacted the US Supreme Court for comment.