Federal Appeals Court Upholds Texas Abortion Heartbeat Law

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A federal appeals court in Texas, United States, has upheld the state's abortion heartbeat law. The law, which became effective on September 1, 2021, prohibits an abortion if a fetal heartbeat is recognized. This means that private citizens have the right to sue abortion doctors who breach the law.

A two-page decision issued by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals sent the case back to the lower court.

The decision, which was obtaned by The Christian Post, read, “This court remands the case with instructions to dismiss all challenges to the private enforcement provisions of the statute."

Pro-choice groups filed a lawsuit against heads of four state entities, asking the court to prevent them (heads of state entities) from implementing the law. The entities are: the Texas Board of Pharmacy, Texas Medical Board, Texas Board of Nursing, and Texas Health and Human Services Commission. 

In January, the Fifth Circuit sent the case to the Texas Supreme Court, requesting it to ascertain if the four entities had the power to implement the law. The Texas Supreme Court, in a 9-0 decision, ruled that the law does not authorize the state-agency executives to enforce the Act’s requirements.

In the opinion of The Fifth Circuit recently, the Texas high court had ruled that the four entity heads may not implement the provisions.

Texas governor, Greg Abbott, who signed the law, was happy with the appeals court’s ruling. He said, “It effectively ends all challenges. All babies with a heartbeat will be saved from the ravages of abortion in Texas."

Christian group, Texas Right to Life, also praised the decision. It said in a news release, “The Fifth Circuit’s instruction to dismiss the challenge to the Texas Heartbeat Act’s enforcement mechanism confirms what Texas Right to Life has known since the beginning: The abortion industry’s legal attacks are meritless.

 “The Texas Heartbeat Act continues to stop approximately 50% of abortions each day in Texas. We praise God for the continued legal success of the Texas Heartbeat Act.”

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