A short-lived “survival”. The temporary order issued Friday by a Texas court lifting the ban on abortion in the event of a medical emergency was quickly suspended. The prosecutor appealed. The order gave reason to a group of women and doctors who had challenged the abortion bans in force in this southern state of the United States, on the grounds of the medical emergency.
First Assistant Texas Attorney General Brent Webster announced in a statement that he has filed an appeal that “stays an activist Austin judge’s attempt to override Texas abortion laws pending a court decision. Supreme Court of Texas”.
A trial in March
Under the law of this State, a decision is automatically suspended as soon as it is the subject of an appeal. In her ruling, Judge Jessica Mangrum acknowledged that women have been “delayed or deprived of access to abortion due to widespread uncertainty about doctors’ leeway under the medical exception to the abortion ban in Texas”.
She ordered that the doctors not be prosecuted after exercising their “good faith judgment”. Physicians should be allowed to determine what they deem to be medical emergencies that may endanger “a woman’s life and/or health (including fertility).”
The Center for Reproductive Rights appeal argued that the way medical exceptions defined in Texas laws, confusing doctors, is causing a “health crisis.” The merits of this legal action will be judged during a trial in March.
Doctors face up to 99 years in prison
The lawsuit is the first filed on behalf of women who have been denied abortions since the US Supreme Court gave states the freedom to legislate abortion on their own.
Texas has banned all voluntary terminations of pregnancy (abortion), at any stage, including incest or rape. Only exception: in case of danger of death or risk of serious disability for the mother.
Texas doctors convicted of performing abortions face up to 99 years in prison, fines of up to $100,000 and the revocation of their medical licenses.