Abortions in Texas resume after Harris County judge blocks pre-Roe ban

The pre-Roe abortion ban in Texas has been blocked by a state court judge in Harris County.

On Tuesday morning, the judge granted a temporary restraining order, blocking enforcement of the ban until the next hearing on July 12.

The TRO comes after a group of women's health care providers from across Texas filed a lawsuit on Monday, claiming the pre-Roe law has been interpreted to be "repealed and unenforceable" due to the confusion over the "trigger law" signed in 2021.


Texas is among a dozen states with trigger laws that were set to ban abortion in the event that Roe v. Wade is overturned.

With the Supreme Court’s ruling on Friday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton put out an advisory stating that the state’s trigger ban, which bans abortion almost entirely, will not take effect for approximately two months or longer.

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The trigger ban is scheduled to take effect 30 days after issuance of the judgment from the Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. 

While the Supreme Court issued its opinion on June 24, it has not yet issued its judgment. The high court typically issues judgments at least 25 days or longer after the opinion.

But Paxton, who is one of the people named in the lawsuit, also said in Friday's advisory that "abortion providers could be criminally liable for providing abortions" starting Friday based on the state’s "abortion prohibitions predating Roe."

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Providers then stopped performing abortions up to six weeks of pregnancy in Texas. They will likely resume at some clinics in the state up to six weeks of pregnancy with the issuance of the TRO.

"It is a relief that this Texas state court acted so quickly to block this deeply harmful abortion ban," Center for Reproductive Rights, who filed the lawsuit in Harris County alongside the ACLU on behalf of women's health providers, said in a statement. "This decision will allow abortion services to resume at many clinics across the state, connecting Texans to the essential health care they need. Every hour that abortion is accessible in Texas is a victory."