In a new legal battle that has erupted since the Supreme Court overturned national abortion rights protections last year, several women have taken Texas to court over what they claim are significant health risks posed by the state’s abortion bans. This latest lawsuit alleges that the ambiguity surrounding medical emergency exemptions in Texas’ abortion laws exacerbated the medical emergencies faced by these women, putting their lives, health, and fertility in danger.
The plaintiffs in the case – five women and two medical providers – are not seeking to completely block Texas’ abortion bans. Rather, they are asking the court to clarify that abortions can be performed when a physician makes a “good faith judgment” that the pregnant person has a physical emergent medical condition that poses a risk of death or a risk to their health (including their fertility).
The lawsuit paints a heartbreaking picture of women being denied necessary abortion care when faced with emergency complications during their wanted pregnancies. These experiences have left the plaintiffs feeling violated and discriminated against, and they argue that their fundamental rights, as well as their right to equality, have been violated.
The defendants in the case are Texas, its Attorney General Ken Paxton, the Texas Medical Board, and its Executive Director Stephen Brint Carlton. So far, none of them have commented on the lawsuit.
As this legal battle unfolds, it remains to be seen what the future holds for women’s reproductive rights in Texas and across the United States.
What States is Abortion Illegal?
In the United States, abortion is legal under federal law due to the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Roe v. Wade in 1973, which recognized the constitutional right to abortion. However, states do have some ability to regulate abortion within certain limits set by the Supreme Court.
Currently, there are no states where abortion is entirely illegal. However, some states have passed laws that severely restrict access to abortion, such as mandatory waiting periods, parental consent requirements, and limitations on the gestational age of the fetus.
Additionally, in 2021, Texas passed a law known as Senate Bill 8, which bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy and allows private citizens to sue anyone who helps a woman obtain an abortion. This law is currently facing legal challenges, and its ultimate fate remains uncertain.
Overall, the legal status of abortion in the United States is a complex and evolving issue, and it is important to consult reliable sources for the most up-to-date information on this topic.