A Texas judge ruled abortions are legal when pregnancies threaten the health of the mother, siding with women who sued over being denied care. Within hours, the state blocked the ruling. – DAVID RAUDALES

DAVID RAUDALES

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DAVID RAUDALES UK

A Texas judge ruled abortions are legal when pregnancies threaten the health of the mother, siding with women who sued over being denied care. Within hours, the state blocked the ruling.

Molly Duane, the senior staff attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights, stands with several of the plaintiffs in her case as she speaks to the media outside the Travis County Courthouse in Austin, Texas.

Eric Gay/AP

A judge sided with women who were denied abortions in the first case of its kind since Roe v. Wade’s overturn.
The Texas judge ruled abortions are legal in dangerous pregnancies or cases of fetal anomalies.
The state immediately appealed the judge’s decision, blocking her injunction.

A Texas judge ruled in favor of women who had been denied abortions amid medically dangerous pregnancies. Then, the state of Texas stepped in, effectively blocking the judge’s ruling through an appeal.

The case was the nation’s first instance of women suing a state over access to abortions since the overturn of Roe v. Wade.  

US District Judge Jessica Mangrum of Travis County found that abortions are legal in dangerous medical emergencies, such as a diagnosis of a fatal fetal complication, and that doctors can’t be prosecuted when they use “good faith judgment” to provide an abortion in such circumstances, according to the Austin American-Statesman.

“Today’s ruling alleviates months of confusion around what conditions qualify as medical emergencies under Texas’ abortion bans, giving doctors permission to use their own medical judgment in determining when abortion care is needed,” the Center for Reproductive Rights, which filed the lawsuit on behalf of 15 plaintiffs, tweeted before state officials appealed the judge’s decision. 

Texas officials immediately appealed, blocking Mangrum’s injunction, which applied only to abortions in medical emergencies. Elective abortions remain banned after six weeks of pregnancy, making them effectively illegal altogether. 

A spokesperson from the state attorney general’s office called the judge’s ruling “an activist Austin judge’s attempt to override Texas abortion laws,” according to the Statesman. 

The plaintiffs include several women who were denied abortions in Texas along with multiple obstetrician-gynecologists, according to a press release from the center. 

“Today’s ruling should prevent other Texans from suffering the unthinkable trauma our plaintiffs endured,” the center’s president and CEO Nancy Northup said in a tweeted statement. “It would be unconscionable for Texas to appeal this ruling. The court has been clear: abortion is essential, life-saving healthcare.” 

The center did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment on Saturday.

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