U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman issued an order blocking the new Texas abortion law that went into affect on September 1, that banned abortion after six weeks. The U.S. Supreme Court has previously ruled in 1994 that states can not prohibit abortion before a fetus is viable, which is usually around 24 weeks. “From the moment S.B. 8 went into effect, women have been unlawfully prevented from exercising control over their lives in ways that are protected by the Constitution. Fully aware that depriving its citizens of this right by direct state action would be flagrantly unconstitutional, the State contrived an unprecedented and transparent statutory scheme to do just that,” wrote pitman in his length order and opinion.
The forthcoming Texas appeal appeared on the 5th U.S. Court of Appeals docket within an hour of Judge Pitman’s order. The new Texas law bans abortions after six weeks, however many woman often don’t yet know they are pregnant. According to some medical experts, a heartbeat can be detected at about six weeks.