Texas Supreme Court blocks order that resumed abortions

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Texas , July 2 (BNA): The Texas Supreme Court blocked a lower court order late Friday night that said clinics could continue performing abortions, just days after some doctors had resumed seeing patients after the fall of Roe v. Wade.

It was not immediately clear whether Texas clinics that had resumed seeing patients this week would halt services again. A hearing is scheduled for later this month, The AP reported.

The whiplash of Texas clinics turning away patients, rescheduling them, and now potentially canceling appointments again — all in the span of a week — illustrated the confusion and scrambling taking place across the country since Roe was overturned.

An order by a Houston judge earlier this week had reassured some clinics they could temporarily resume abortions up to six weeks into pregnancy. That was quickly followed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton asking the state’s highest court, which is stocked with nine Republican justices, to temporarily put the order on hold.

Clinics in Texas had stopped performing abortions in the state of nearly 30 million people after the U.S. Supreme Court last week overturned Roe v. Wade and ended the constitutional right to abortion. Texas had technically left an abortion ban on the books for the past 50 years while Roe was in place.

A copy of Friday’s order was provided by attorneys for Texas clinics. It could not immediately be found on the court’s website.

Abortion providers and patients across the country have been struggling to navigate the evolving legal landscape around abortion laws and access.

In Florida, a law banning abortions after 15 weeks went into effect Friday, the day after a judge called it a violation of the state constitution and said he would sign an order temporarily blocking the law next week. The ban could have broader implications in the South, where Florida has wider access to the procedure than its neighbors.

Abortion rights have been lost and regained in the span of a few days in Kentucky. A so-called trigger law imposing a near-total ban on the procedure took effect last Friday, but a judge blocked the law Thursday, meaning the state’s only two abortion providers can resume seeing patients — for now.

F.K.N.