The appeals court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in New Orleans, has yet to render a decision in an appeal pending before it. But “the writing is on the wall,” the providers told the judges. “And although the Fifth Circuit has expedited the appeal, it won’t hold any arguments until December at the earliest.”
“Meanwhile, Texans are in crisis,” the suppliers wrote.
Texas law, known as SB 8, has new features. The law, which makes no exceptions for pregnancies resulting from incest or rape, prohibits state officials from enforcing it and instead allows individuals to prosecute anyone who practices the procedure or “aids and encourages “.
This makes it difficult for abortion providers to know who to prosecute, as prosecutions seeking to block laws as unconstitutional typically appoint officials responsible for enforcing them as defendants. When the providers filed a lawsuit in federal court, they appointed, among other things, each judge of the trial court and clerk of the Texas county court.
While it can be difficult to sue to challenge the law, it allows individuals to sue doctors, clinic staff, counselors, people who help pay for the procedure, and even an individual. Uber driver taking a patient to an abortion clinic. Plaintiffs, who do not need to live in Texas, have a connection to the abortion or show damage caused by it, are entitled to $ 10,000 and their legal fees recovered if they win. Successful defendants are not entitled to legal fees.
“Faced with the threat of unlimited lawsuits from the general population and the prospect of ruinous liability if they violate the ban, abortion providers have been forced to comply,” wrote providers. “As a result, Texans with the means must now travel hundreds of miles each way to other states during a pandemic, just to exercise clearly established federal law. The surge of Texans seeking out-of-state appointments for this urgent medical care is causing backlogs in those states, delaying abortions by weeks for Texans and non-Texans alike. “