Texas abortion providers sue to temporarily hold off ban

Abortion providers in Texas want to temporarily resume work until an official statewide ban goes into effect. 

A lawsuit was filed on behalf of clinics in Dallas, McKinney, Fort Worth and other cities. A judge in Houston will hear the arguments Tuesday morning.

The Texas providers believe a short window should still exist until the Texas trigger laws go into effect and ban abortions in Texas.

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They argue every day and every hour counts. They plan to fight to maintain abortion access as long as they can even if it’s just temporary.

The providers cite a statement by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who said abortion providers could face criminal charges because of a law that was on the books before Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in 1973.

That law was never repealed, and Paxton believes it’s now back in force.

But the providers said the law is antiquated. They argue the state essentially repealed it when passing newer abortion restrictions implying the old law was no longer in effect. 

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On Monday, judges temporarily blocked trigger laws from taking effect in Utah and Louisiana.

Similar lawsuits have been filed in Idaho, Kentucky and Mississippi with more expected in the days and weeks to come. 

Some cities and counties say they won't enforce Texas trigger laws

Meanwhile, the district attorney in Austin said no matter what the law says he will not prosecute people who perform abortions in Travis County.

"It’s important to understand why this is the right choice for our community, because we do not want women in our community suffering at home or dying because they are too afraid to go to the hospital to get the care that they need," said Travis County DA Jose Garza.

Garza is one of five Texas district attorneys who pledged not to prosecute abortion cases. The others are in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Corpus Christi.

RELATED: 83 elected prosecutors nationwide commit to not prosecute abortions after Roe v Wade overturned

Paxton said his office could prosecute cases if the Democrat Das do not.

The Denton City Council is also considering a mostly symbolic resolution opposing the Supreme Court’s decision. It limits city enforcement, in other words by police, of the new trigger law that will soon take effect in Texas.

Supporters are expected to rally in front of city hall before Tuesday afternoon’s council meeting.

The Austin City Council is considering a similar resolution.