AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A federal judge has ordered Texas to suspend a new law that has banned most abortions in the state since September.
The order Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman freezes for now the strict abortion law known as Senate Bill 8. It bans abortions once cardiac activity is detected, which is usually around six weeks. That is before some women even know they’re pregnant.
The decision is the first legal blow to the Texas law since the U.S. Supreme Court allowed it to take effect last month.
Abortion providers in Texas say the restrictions have backlogged clinics hundreds of miles away as women now leave state borders to seek care. Texas officials were expected to seek a swift appeal.