What happens next in battle against Texas' abortion law?

Thursday, September 30, 2021
What happens next in battle against Texas' abortion law?
A federal judge in Austin will consider a request from the federal government to block the state's abortion law from being enforced. Here's what we could expect.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- There are several ongoing lawsuits against Texas' abortion law, including one involving the Department of Justice, which will be reviewed in court on Friday.

At the University of Houston, dozens of students joined a group called Socialist Alternative in a rally and walkout protest on Thursday against the state's new abortion law, also known as Senate Bill 8, which went into effect Sept. 1.

"It was very important," said member and student Dawn Hailey. "The fact that there hasn't been any kind of a reaction from any of the major organizations that deal with abortion or reproductive rights, we felt like it was very necessary that we had to come out and assist with the walkout and to protest that nothing is happening."

A Houston Women's March is scheduled to start Saturday at 9 a.m. at Discovery Green, and participants plan to make their way to City Hall in protest of the new abortion law.

The Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against Texas on Sept. 9 in an attempt to block enforcement of the law.

SEE ALSO: Justice Department asks judge to block Texas from enforcing abortion law

The judge overseeing the case on Friday is U.S. District Judge Robert L. Pitman.

Seth Chandler, a law professor at the University of Houston Law Center, said Pitman's ruling will likely come in the next couple of weeks.

"He will probably make a decision within the next two weeks on whether to prohibit enforcement of all or part of SB8," Chandler said.

Chandler said it's important for people to also keep monitoring the other lawsuits against the state challenging whether the new law violates individuals' constitutional rights.

"There are also ones where we have an abortion provider, Mr. Braid, [(Dr. Alan Braid],, who admitted, 'I've performed an abortion.' He's now been sued and he's going to be able to raise the unconstitutionality of SB8 as a defense without a lot of the procedural minutia that are sort of bogging down the DOJ and other lawsuits, so I would suggest people pay attention both to the courts and what is going on in the legislature and how they can change that at the ballot box."

SEE ALSO: Texas doctor who admitted to violating the state's near-total abortion ban sued under new law

Kim Schwartz with Texas Right To Life, which fully supports SB8, called the law "novel and groundbreaking."

"The Biden Administration can not stand that Texas has essentially stopped 85% to 95% of abortions and saving that many lives," Schwartz said. "The Texas Heartbeat Act is not a question of the mother's interest or the child's interest, and of course we value them both. The Texas Heartbeat Act seeks to protect the inalienable right to life, something that the Supreme Court has affirmed, time and again, that states have an interest in protecting pre-born life and so there should be no issues with the Texas Heartbeat Act."

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