AUSTIN –This week Attorney General Paxton asked the Supreme Court of Texas to vacate a temporary restraining order blocking enforcement Texas’s pre-Roe criminal prohibitions on elective abortion.
A Harris County district court previously issued the restraining order
at the request of a group of abortion clinics that wish to immediately
violate these criminal prohibitions by performing criminal abortions up
until the Human Life Protection Act of 2021 takes effect a few weeks
Texas Legislature has never repealed the State’s longstanding criminal
laws that prohibit abortion, unless necessary to save the life of the
mother. The United States Supreme Court’s erroneous decision in Roe v. Wade
prevented Texas from enforcing these laws for many decades. But lack of
enforcement does not remove the provisions from Texas law. Now that the
Supreme Court has overruled Roe v. Wade in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, Texas law against abortion can be enforced. Because
the plaintiff abortion clinics intend to immediately begin performing
criminal abortions under cover of the temporary restraining order—and
some may have already done so—the Attorney General sought emergency
relief from the Texas Supreme Court.
“The trial court was wrong to enjoin enforcement of Texas’s longstanding prohibitions on elective abortion,” said Attorney General Paxton, “Let there be no mistake: the lower court’s unlawful order does not immunize criminal conduct, which can be punished at a later date
once the temporary restraining order is lifted. My office will not
hesitate to act in defense of unborn Texans put in jeopardy by
plaintiffs’ wrongful actions and the trial court’s erroneous order.”
Texas requested an immediate stay of the temporary restraining order. Evidently undeterred by future criminal punishment and civil liability, the plaintiff abortion clinics say that they intend to violate Texas law under cover of the temporary restraining order. Once an abortion occurs, nothing can restore the unborn child’s life; prosecuting the abortionist later is no substitute. “That irreparable loss necessitates th[e] Court’s immediate action,” the petition explains.
To read SCOTEX Mandamus click here.
To read SCOTEX Motion to Stay click here.