By ACACIA CORONADO and ED WHITE – Associated Press
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Clinics were closing abortion services in the nation’s second-largest state on Saturday after the Texas Supreme Court blocked an order briefly allowing the procedure to resume in some cases, the latest of the jostling litigation taking place in the United States after the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
Friday night’s ruling ended a three-day-old order from a Houston judge that said clinics could resume abortions up to six weeks pregnant. The next day, the American Civil Liberties Union said it doubted abortions would now be performed in a state of nearly 30 million people.
Amy Hagstrom Miller, president of Whole Woman’s Health, said the ruling forced an end to abortions at her four Texas clinics, and workers there were shutting down abortion operations and having “heartbreaking conversations” with women whose appointments had been cancelled.
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“I feel bad for us and for the people we have dedicated our lives to with the fabulous abortion care we provide, many of whom will be denied that right in the months and perhaps years to come,” he said. Hagstrom Miller said in a statement.
Multiple Planned Parenthood affiliates in Texas had not resumed abortion services even after the restraining order was put in place on Tuesday.
At issue was a long-dormant 1925 criminal law that targets people who perform abortions. Clinics had argued he was disabled after abortion became a constitutional right in the United States in 1973. The U.S. Supreme Court, however, overturned Roe’s landmark ruling on June 24, leaving the policy of abortion in the States.
“Pro-life victory! … Litigation continues, but I will continue to win for the unborn babies of Texas,” said Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, who had asked the state Supreme Court to intervene.
Separately, Texas has a 2021 law designed to ban abortion if Roe is overturned. It takes effect in the coming weeks.
“Extremist politicians are on a crusade to force Texans to become pregnant and give birth against their will, however devastating the consequences,” said Julia Kaye of the ACLU.
Providers and patients across the country are struggling to navigate the evolving legal landscape around abortion laws and access.
In Florida, a law banning abortions after 15 weeks went into effect Friday, the day after a judge called it a violation of the state constitution and said he would sign an order temporarily blocking the next week. The ban could have broader implications in the South, as Florida currently allows greater access to the procedure than neighboring states.
Even when women travel outside states where abortion is banned, they may have fewer options for terminating their pregnancies as the prospect of prosecution follows them.
Planned Parenthood of Montana this week stopped offering medical abortions to patients living in banned states.
Planned Parenthood North Central States, which offers the procedure in Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska, tells patients they must take both diet pills while in a state that allows abortion.
The use of pills has been the most common method of terminating a pregnancy since 2000, when the United States Food and Drug Administration approved mifepristone, the main drug used in medical abortions. Taken with misoprostol, a drug that causes cramps that empty the uterus, it is called the abortion pill.
Also on Friday, Google, the company behind the internet’s dominant search engine and Android software that powers most smartphones, said it would automatically delete information about users who visit abortion or pregnancy clinics. other places that could trigger potential legal issues.
In addition to abortion clinics, Google listed counseling centers, fertility centers, addiction treatment centers, weight loss clinics, and cosmetic surgery clinics as destinations that will be erased from location histories. . Users have always had the ability to edit their location histories on their own, but now Google will do this for them as an added layer of protection.
“We are committed to providing strong privacy protections to people who use our products, and we will continue to seek new ways to strengthen and improve those protections,” Jen Fitzpatrick, senior vice president at Google, wrote in a statement. blog post.
White reported from Detroit.
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