Late Friday, the Texas Supreme Court cleared the way for the state to enforce its abortion ban from 1925. The law also exposed abortion providers to lawsuits and financial penalties if they perform abortions. The legislature is planning to pass more abortion-related laws in the coming term, including at least one that could result in a major constitutional challenge.
The state Supreme Court overruled a Houston district judge Judge Christine Weems, who ruled earlier that the pre-Roe abortion ban “is repealed and may not be enforced consistent with the due process guaranteed by the Texas constitution.” The move by Judge Weems is indicative of the post-Roe world where any protection of abortion will be found on state grounds as judges rely on their own constitutions to achieve that same result as Roe v. Wade.
Last year, the Texas legislature passed a “trigger law” that would automatically ban abortion from the moment of fertilization 30 days after a judgment from the Supreme Court.
Notably, some conservative lawmakers have said they intend to continue to legislate, including a law to prevent pregnant Texans from leaving the state to receive the procedure. In my view, such a law would be unconstitutional as a limit on the right to travel and other protected rights.