The July 1 decision “does not permit prosecutors to bring criminal cases against abortion providers, but it exposes anyone who assists in the procurement of an abortion to fines and lawsuits,” The Texas Tribune reported.
Jonathan Covey, policy director for Texas Values, a religious freedom organization, said July 2 that “We are grateful the Texas Supreme Court blocked this temporary restraining order that clinics were using as an excuse to kill pre-born babies. No matter how hard abortionists try to perpetuate murder, we know that life is a human right.”
The president of Whole Woman’s Health, an abortion provider in the state, said July 2, “With the pre-Roe ban reinstated, Whole Woman’s Health is forced to cease providing abortion in our 4 Texas clinics. This morning, our clinic staff embarked on the heartbreaking conversations with the patients whose appointments must be cancelled, and our clinics have started the wind down process.”
On June 28, Harris County Judge Christine Weems issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting the law’s enforcement.
The legal penalty for performing an abortion ranges from two to ten years in prison.
Texas also passed a “trigger law,” which was signed into law in June 2021, making it unlawful for anyone to “knowingly perform, induce, or attempt an abortion,” with the exception of circumstances in which the mother’s life would be in danger if the pregnancy were to continue.
The Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which reversed Roe v. Wade and gave the states control over abortion legislation, will be 30 days before that statute goes into effect.
Under the trigger law, women who have abortions will not be held accountable or punished. Abortionists who perform unlawful abortions risk a $100,000 penalties.
Since the Dobbs ruling, the state’s rule prohibiting abortions beyond about six weeks of pregnancy is in effect.