Following the decision made by the Supreme Court of the United States last week to reject the national constitutional right to abortion, the highest courts in the states of Texas and Ohio granted permission on Friday for the Republican-led states to implement limitations and bans on abortions.
After the United States Supreme Court overruled the famous Roe v. Wade verdict in 1973 and eliminated a woman’s constitutional right to abortion, the Texas Supreme Court, late on Friday, gave its approval for an abortion ban that has been in place for almost a century to go into force.
The ruling, which permits the legislation to be implemented civilly but not criminally, was issued on the same day that the Ohio Supreme Court granted the state the green light to enforce a 2019 ban on abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. The order enables the law to be executed civilly but not criminally.
The dual orders came about one week after the conservative-majority of the United States Supreme Court restored the authority of states to ban abortions.
A temporary restraining order that a judge issued on Tuesday that allowed abortions to resume in the state up to the already-restricted six weeks of pregnancy was put on hold by the Texas Supreme Court in response to a petition filed by Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton. Paxton asked the court to put the order on hold, and the court granted his request.
The attorneys representing the abortion clinics that challenged the ban from 1925 pledged to keep fighting for their clients’ rights. According to the clinics, after the arguments that are scheduled to take place on July 12, a judge from a lower court might once again stop the bill.
Julia Kaye, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union who is defending the Texas abortion clinics contesting the ban, said that “We won’t stop fighting to guarantee that as many people as possible, for as long as possible, may get the important reproductive health care they need.”
Since the previous week, organisations advocating for the right to abortion have challenged anti-abortion legislation in 11 states, and judges in Florida, Louisiana, Kentucky, and Utah have blocked the enforcement of abortion restrictions or bans.
The directives were issued on Friday at a time when two states under Democratic control, New York and New Jersey, were taking steps to strengthen abortion rights inside their boundaries.
Women who travel to New Jersey for the purpose of obtaining an abortion will no longer have to worry about being prosecuted or facing civil action in their home states according to legislation that was just signed into law by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy.
Additionally, additional legal safeguards were created for reproductive healthcare practitioners in the state of New Jersey who offer abortion services outside state lines as a result of these initiatives.
The freedom to have an abortion and the right to use birth control were both enshrined in a new version of the state constitution thanks to an amendment that was approved by the Senate in New York.
Roe v. Wade had guaranteed a national right to terminate any pregnancy up to the period of foetal viability outside the womb, which typically occurs between 24 and 28 weeks of gestation for most people.
The Ohio statute known as S.B. 23 prohibits having an abortion once foetal heart activity can be detected for the first time, which occurs sometime around the sixth week of gestation. At this stage, many women are not even aware that they are pregnant.
The federal courts had already ruled against the Ohio proposal, but Republican Governor Mike DeWine was able to get it signed into law. However, just a few hours after the Supreme Court’s judgement, the injunction that had been prohibiting its execution was lifted by a federal court.
Dave Yost, a Republican running for attorney general in Ohio, has stated that the state constitution does not recognise a right to abortion. In a statement, he suggested that the plaintiffs “pursue their policy objectives via the political process, rather than the courts.”
Also on Friday, a case was presented before the Supreme Court of Oklahoma contesting two state abortion restrictions, one from 1910 and one that was imposed just this year. The action was brought by Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.
A request for response was sent to the Attorney General of Oklahoma, John O’Connor, but he did not immediately answer. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court of Oklahoma issued a verdict that was 8-1 in favour of allowing another abortion ban in the state to go into force.