Texas Supreme Court reverses judge, allows century-old abortion ban to take effect for now

Lower court had earlier said abortions could continue even amid Roe reversal.

Updated: July 2, 2022 - 11:34am

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The Texas Supreme Court has issued a ruling upholding the state’s ban on abortions, quickly reversing a lower judge’s earlier ruling that allowed abortions to continue there despite the state’s having outlawed them.

The order from the Supreme Court of Texas ultimately punted the issue to a hearing next week, yet in the meantime it appears that the state can continue enforcing an abortion ban there. 

The decision from the high court comes just days after a Houston-area judge blocked the state’s abortion ban in the wake of Roe v. Wade’s repeal, allowing abortions to continue under a temporary restraining order against the state. 

At issue was a nearly-100-year-old law on the books in Texas, one that had essentially laid dormant for about 50 years due to Roe v. Wade but which was apparently brought back into enforcement following the decision’s repeal. 

Following that ruling, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton asked the state supreme court to reverse it. In doing so, the court asked parties in the case to submit briefs by July 7 of next week.