Updated Oct 9, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Appeals court temporarily reinstates Texas abortion ban

Photo of people holding signs that advocate for abortion

Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday temporarily reinstated Texas' controversial abortion ban, hours after the state requested an emergency intervention.

Why it matters: The three-judge panel's decision will allow Texas to once again enforce the ban despite a lower court judge's earlier ruling that the law is unconstitutional.

  • Some health care providers had already resumed performing abortions after the judge blocked the ban on Thursday.
  • The law will remain restored while the court considers Texas' request to keep it in effect during litigation.

Context: The Justice Department sued Texas last month, challenging the constitutionality of the ban on most abortions, which took effect on Sept. 1 after the U.S. Supreme Court allowed it to remain in place.

  • The U.S. district court ruling meant medical professionals could again offer abortions in Texas even after about six weeks of pregnancy without fear of facing a lawsuit by members of the public, at least temporarily.
  • The three-judge panel included Judge Carl Stewart, nominated by former President Bill Clinton; Judge Catharina Haynes, nominated by former President George W. Bush; and Judge James Ho, nominated by former President Donald Trump.

What to watch: The circuit ordered the Justice Department to respond by Tuesday at 5 p.m. CT.

  • The federal government is expected to appeal the stay to the full-court.
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