A federal judge has decided to temporarily block the Texas Heartbeat Act after weeks of its enactment saying that "pregnant people" should be given the opportunity to abort the unborn.
The Christian Headlines reported that the Judge Robert Pitman of the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas ruled on Wednesday in favor of President Joe Biden's Administration who filed a lawsuit against the implementation of the Texas Heartbeat Act, also called Senate Bill 8.
Pitman particularly used the term "pregnant people" in line with LGBTQ+ vocabulary since the "the Court recognizes that not all pregnant people identify as women."
While Reuters explained that the Biden Administration filed the temporary injunction on the law in the said district court last September 9 for violating the United States Constitution. SB 8 was implemented on September 1 and the Supreme Court reinforced it by rejecting the emergency block petitioned by Planned Parenthood against it. Accordingly, the pro-choice giant contested that the law bans abortion in the state and violates women's rights to health care.
Pitman, who initially rejected Biden's request to issue a temporary restraining order on SB 8, now rebuked the state of Texas. He said Texas avoided review of the law by the justice system while maintaining the stand that "pregnant people" had the right to conduct an abortion even before the viability of the unborn.
"A person's right under the Constitution to choose to obtain an abortion prior to fetal viability is well established. 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," Pitman wrote in the ruling.
"This Court will not sanction one more day of this offensive deprivation of such an important right," he added.
Pitman elaborated that Texas's alleged scheme involved allowing private action to be taken by any individual against those who have undergone an abortion despite a fetal heartbeat being detected. Pitman said this was a "deliberate" way of evading the traditional process where the law is subjected for review by federal courts who have the right to safeguard the rights of people.
"The State created a private cause of action by which individuals with no personal interest in, or connection to, a person seeking an abortion would be incentivized to use the state's judicial system, judges, and court officials to interfere with the right to an abortion," Pitman said.
"Rather than subjecting its law to judicial review under the Constitution, the State deliberately circumvented the traditional process. It drafted the law with the intent to preclude review by federal courts that have the obligation to safeguard the very rights the statute likely violates," he explained.
In line with the court's ruling, the state of Texas informed Pitman that they will be filing an appeal on the law at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki celebrated the ruling saying in a statement that it is "an important step" for the government to restore "the constitutional rights of women in the state of Texas." Psaki claimed that SB8 is unconstitutional as well as its alleged "scheme" to "evade judicial review." Psaki also revealed that this is only their first step to codify Roe v. Wade in the country in order to protect the constitutional rights of women, which she claims is "under attack."
"S.B. 8 not only blatantly violates the right to safe and legal abortion established under Roe v. Wade, but it creates a scheme to allow private citizens to interfere with that right and to evade judicial review," Psaki said Wednesday.
"The fight has only just begun, both in Texas and in many states across this country where women's rights are currently under attack. That's why the President supports codifying Roe v. Wade, why he has directed a whole-of-government response to S.B. 8, and why he will continue to stand side-by-side with women across the country to protect their constitutional rights," she added.
Meanwhile, Texas Right To Life, who has pre-warned Pitman would side with the Biden Administration, called his ruling "astonishing" and heart breaking. The pro-life group raised that Pitman's decision is the "legacy of Roe v. Wade" wherein judges have become servants of the abortion industry by concluding first "then searching the depths of legal literature for a rationale later."
Texas Right To Life expressed hopes that a higher court would intervene since Pitman's ruling is expected to stop SB8 from being enforced for the time being.