AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM) — Planned Parenthood affiliates in Texas filed an emergency request on September 29 asking the Texas Supreme Court to intervene in the ongoing case against Texas Right to Life, challenging Senate Bill 8, the state’s six-week abortion ban.

Earlier in September Planned Parenthood was granted a temporary injunction against the group, which blocked it from suing abortion providers and health care workers at Planned Parenthood centers in Texas under SB 8.

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Later, at the request of Texas Right to Life, the Texas Multidistrict Litigation Panel stepped in and stayed all ongoing challenges to SB 8 in state court indefinitely. The move was made despite the fact that a hearing in Planned Parenthood’s case, where it asked the court to declare SB 8 unconstitutional, was scheduled for October 13.

Planned Parenthood says intervention by the state Supreme Court is ‘urgently and immediately needed’ because SB 8 ‘continues to cause unprecedented harm on the ground, blocking Texans from accessing their constitutional right to abortion’.

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“For almost a month, Texans have been forced to either continue an unwanted pregnancy or travel hundreds of miles to access care that they should be able to get in their home state,” said Helene Krasnoff, with Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “We’re urging the Texas Supreme Court to step in and move this critical case along so we can restore access to abortion across the state.”

The U.S. Supreme Court allowed SB 8 to take effect on September 1, 2021. The law prohibits abortions in Texas as early as six weeks — when a fetal heartbeat is detected and before most women know they are pregnant — and allows for private citizens, in Texas or elsewhere, to sue abortion providers or anyone else who may have helped someone get an abortion after the limit.

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According to Planned Parenthood, since SB 8 took effect, abortion has been virtually inaccessible for the 7 million women of reproductive age living in Texas.

CBSDFW.com Staff