A federal judge on Wednesday ordered Texas to temporarily suspend its new “heartbeat” law, SB 8, which bans most abortions after a heartbeat is detected—usually around six weeks’ gestation.
In his 113-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman, an Obama appointee, rebuked the state, saying that the law stripped women of their “constitutional right” to abortion.
“From the moment SB 8 went into effect, women have been unlawfully prevented from exercising control over their lives in ways that are protected by the Constitution,” he wrote.
“That other courts may find a way to avoid this conclusion is theirs to decide; this court will not sanction one more day of this offensive deprivation of such an important right,” Pitman concluded.
Lila Rose, president of pro-life organization Live Action, took issue with Pitman’s claim that his order restored women’s constitutional rights.
“This judge is a wildly partisan pro-abortion activist,” she tweeted. “He isn’t upholding the Constitution; he’s propping up the abortion industry. An unjust ruling is no ruling at all.”
“Nothing in constitutional text, structure, history or tradition supports a right to abortion,” the brief reads.
Texas Right to Life, not surprised by Pitman’s injunction, expressed its frustration with the predictability of liberal judges.
“This is the legacy of Roe v. Wade: judges catering to the abortion industry, crafting a conclusion first and then searching the depths of legal literature for a rationale later,” the organization commented in a press release.
National pro-life network Susan B. Anthony (SBA) List posted a similar message via Twitter: “This has played out for decades and must end.”
“The people of Texas spoke through their legislators: They want to protect babies with beating hearts. Now an unelected judge has stepped in and blocked it,” SBA List pointed out. “It’s time for SCOTUS to rule in Dobbs & hand the issue back to the people.”
Texas Right to Life assured pro-life advocates that attorneys have appealed Pitman’s decision to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.