Federal Appeals Court Keeps Texas Abortion Ban Intact; DOJ Asks Supreme Court to Halt Law

Headline Roundup October 15th, 2021

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that Texas' new abortion law can remain in place. The three-judge panel voted 2-1 to grant the state's request to suspend a federal judge's ruling that prevented the law from being enforced. The Department of Justice originally sued Texas over the law, and is able to appeal the decision. Known as The Heartbeat Act, the ban outlaws abortions after a fetal heartbeat has been detected and allows private citizens to sue anyone who aids in the abortion process. The same panel issued a temporary decision last week to revive the law after a federal judge paused the ban. The Biden administration said Friday it will next ask the U.S. Supreme Court to halt the law.

Coverage from left- and center-rated sources often framed the law as controversial and overly restrictive, and highlighted the ways Texas women have sought abortions since the ban took effect. Reports from right-rated outlets often described the law as the "heartbeat abortion law" and focused on justices' rulings that left the law in place. Updated 10/15/21 at 1:48 p.m. ET with news of the White House's call on the Supreme Court.

From the Left

Texas' controversial abortion law will remain in place for the time being, after a federal appeals court on Thursday granted the state's request to suspend a federal judge's ruling that barred it from being enforced. The brief ruling is a blow to abortion rights advocates, who had hoped to suspend the law for as long as possible while its constitutionality is debated in the courts. 

The three-judge panel on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1. The Department of Justice, which sued Texas over the law, is able to appeal the...

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From the Center

Texas can continue banning most abortions after a federal appeals court rejected the Biden administration’s latest attempt to stop a novel law that has become the nation’s biggest curb to abortion in nearly 50 years.

The decision Thursday could push the law closer to returning to the U.S. Supreme Court, which has already once allowed the restrictions to take effect without ruling on its constitutionality. The Texas law bans abortions once cardiac activity is detected, usually around six weeks and before some women know they are pregnant.

Since the law took effect in...

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From the Right

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit said Thursday it will allow Texas’s heartbeat abortion law, which allows private citizens to sue providers who perform abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, to remain in effect while it considers an appeal of a judge’s order blocking the new law.

The court issued a 2–1 order siding with the state of Texas, refusing the Justice Department’s request to reinstate an earlier court ruling that had blocked enforcement of the law. The order was backed by Judges James C....

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