US appeals court reinstates Texas’s near total ban on abortion

A US appeals court has temporarily reinstated Texas’s near total ban on abortions.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to a request from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton that an injunction imposed against the law be lifted.

Earlier on Wednesday, a lower court had temporarily blocked the bill for the “offensive deprivation” of the constitutional right to an abortion.

The restrictive law bans all abortions at about six weeks of pregnancy.

It gives any individual the right to sue anyone involved with providing or facilitating an abortion after foetal cardiac activity is detected, and makes no exceptions for pregnancies caused by rape or incest.

The Texan attorney general said the court’s decision was “great news”, adding he would “continue to fight to keep Texas free from federal overreach”.

The dispute over the law could ultimately end up before the US Supreme Court, which in September declined to hear an emergency case filed in a last-minute bid to prevent the ban passing into law.

Several clinics in Texas had resumed providing abortions to patients who were beyond the six-week limit following Wednesday’s order.

They may now face some legal risk, as the law includes a provision that says clinics and doctors may still be liable for abortions carried out while an emergency injunction is in place, legal experts say.

Some women have reportedly been travelling to other states where the procedure is legal.