A Texas judge on Friday issued a preliminary injunction that would allow abortions for women with complicated pregnancies under certain circumstances and shield doctors from prosecution, according to the Texas Tribune.
Austin District Court Judge Jessica Manglam said in a statement that state prosecutors cannot target a doctor who “in good faith” determined that it was best to terminate a complicated pregnancy. . according to in the Texas Tribune. Associated complications include pregnancies with risk of infection, situations in which the fetus is not expected to survive far beyond birth, or medical conditions in which pregnant women require regular, invasive treatments, Mangrum said. It is specified that it includes cases where it is falling.
According to the Texas Tribune, Mangram’s ruling argues that Texas Senate Bill 8 is unconstitutional. According to the Texas Tribune, Mangram said enforcement of the law went beyond the legal powers given to state officials responsible for prosecuting doctors under the law. (Related: Abortions drop nearly 60% in Texas after new abortion law takes effect, data shows)
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Physicians found to have broken the law can be jailed or fined up to $100,000. according to to Politico.
The state could appeal the ruling, which could block the injunction until an appeal is filed in state court, according to the Texas Tribune. A trial is scheduled for March 23 to determine what medical emergencies can justify abortion.
Politico said the challenge to the bill was not intended to overturn the bill entirely, but to clarify its exceptions.
Politico says the Texas abortion bill will take effect in 2022 and is subject to intense media and legal scrutiny. The bill prohibits abortion after a fetal heartbeat has been detected.
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