Texas will appeal a federal court order blocking the state's restrictive abortion law.
State officials said they intended to take the case to an appeals court just hours after the ruling from U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman.
"We disagree with the Court's decision and have already taken steps to immediately appeal it to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals," Texas GOP Attorney General Ken Paxton tweeted Thursday morning. "The sanctity of human life is, and will always be, a top priority for me."
Pitman, who was appointed by former President Barack Obama, sided with the Biden administration late Wednesday in blocking enforcement of the law, which has banned most abortions in Texas since Sept. 1.
The judge said Texas lawmakers purposely designed a legislative scheme to bypass constitutional protections for women seeking abortions, The Hill reported
"From the moment S.B. 8 went into effect, women have been unlawfully prevented from exercising control over their lives in ways that are protected by the Constitution," Pitman wrote.
"That other courts may find a way to avoid this conclusion is theirs to decide; this Court will not sanction one more day of this offensive deprivation of such an important right."
The Texas law bans abortions after a heartbeat can be detected, which typically occurs around six weeks of pregnancy. It also gives private parties the ability to sue medical personnel who perform banned abortions or even anyone who "aids or abets it."
The case ultimately is expected to wind up before the U.S. Supreme Court, which declined to weigh in and pause the measure as Texas was enacting it. The court is expected to take a new look at the landmark case of Roe v. Wade that set a precedent for legal abortions.
Critics of the law say that the fact plaintiffs can win $10,000 awards for successful lawsuits has turned anti-abortion activists into bounty hunters, The Hill said.
The way the law was written also creates procedural hurdles for lawsuits because court orders blocking state laws usually are aimed at the officials tasked with enforcing them.
Pitman questioned an attorney for the state about the law during a hearing last week.
"I guess my obvious question to you is if the state is so confident in the constitutionality of the limitations on women's access to abortion, then why did you go to such great lengths to create this very unusual private cause of action rather than just simply doing it directly?" Pitman said.
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