October 8, 2021

Texas judge stays six-week gestational abortion ban

Joe Gratz


Update: The federal Fifth Court of Appeals temporarily reinstated the ban on Friday, Oct. 8.

A Texas federal court judge stayed the Texas six-week gestational abortion ban this week.

The law went into effect on Sept. 1 and has created chaos in Texas for abortion care patients who now must travel hundreds or thousands of miles to a clinic out of state, including in New Mexico. After the U.S. Supreme Court refused to consider an emergency injunction on the law, the U.S. Attorney General’s office sued the state of Texas.

Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains said they are still welcoming patients from Texas and will continue to do so but the additional patient load has caused a strain that is not sustainable. The stay is temporary and the state of Texas is likely to appeal.

Related: How the Texas abortion ban is affecting New Mexico abortion providers and funds, almost four weeks in

The abortion ban has also affected patients in southern New Mexico who would have traveled to El Paso for care.

Vicki Cowart, president and chief executive officer of PPRM, called this “victory” a “first step in bringing much needed relief to Texas patients, who have had their right to abortion blocked for over a month.”

“But make no mistake: there is a long road ahead before abortion access is fully restored and maintained in Texas,” Cowart wrote in an email to NM Political Report.