Washington D.C., Oct 7, 2021 / 08:30 am
Pro-life leaders on Wednesday responded to a federal judge blocking Texas’ pro-life “heartbeat” law, just more than one month after the law went into effect.
In a ruling on Wednesday, Oct. 6, Judge Robert Pitman of the Western District of Texas halted enforcement of the law by the state . The Texas Heartbeat Act (S.B. 8) restricts most abortions after detection of a fetal heartbeat, and is enforced through private civil lawsuits against those performing illegal abortions, as well as against those deemed culpable under the law of assisting in illegal abortions. Successful lawsuits can net at least $10,000 in damages.
The Biden administration had filed a complaint requesting a temporary restraining order on the state or anyone filing a lawsuit under the law.
Although Pitman would not order an injunction on future private lawsuits, his order halted any private actions under the law "to the extent" that they "would necessitate state action that is now prohibited." The state is barred from actions such as awarding damages to successful lawsuits or enforcing judgments in such cases.