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Texas Judge Temporarily Blocks Pro-Life Group from Enforcing New Abortion Law

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Demonstrators at a Planned Parenthood rally at the State Capitol in Austin, Texas, April 5, 2017. (Ilana Panich-Linsman/Reuters)

A Texas judge on Friday granted a temporary restraining order against Texas Right to Life, preventing the pro-life group from suing Planned Parenthood under a state law that prohibits abortion after a heartbeat can be detected.

Travis County District Court judge Maya Guerra Gamble blocked the pro-life group and its associates from suing abortion providers and workers at Planned Parenthood clinics under the new law, S.B. 8, that took effect Wednesday.

“The Court finds that S.B. 8 creates a probable, irreparable, and imminent injury in the interim for which plaintiffs and their physicians, staff and patients throughout Texas have no adequate remedy at law if plaintiffs, their physicians, and staff are subjected to private enforcement lawsuits against them under S.B. 8,” Gamble wrote.

The temporary restraining order will expire in two weeks. A hearing, however, is set for September 13, during which the temporary order could be extended.

The judge’s ruling comes days after the Supreme Court issued a 5–4 decision rejecting a challenge to the law. Chief Justice John Roberts joined the Court’s three liberal justices in dissent. 

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