Sunday, December 5, 2021

WATCH: Doctors and Lawyers Testify About Texas Abortion Law at House Hearings

Doctors, attorneys and attorneys will testify before the House Judicial Committee on Thursday about how Texas abortion law affects communities and families.

The hearing will begin at 10:00 am ET. Watch live in the player above.

On Monday, most Supreme Court officials signaled they would allow abortion providers to sue a controversial Texas law that effectively ended abortion in the country’s second-largest state after six weeks of pregnancy.

But it was unclear how quickly the court would rule, whether it would issue an order blocking the law, which is in effect for two months, or require service providers to ask the lower court to suspend the law.

WATCH: A record number of abortion restrictions were introduced in 2021.

Justices Brett Cavanaugh and Amy Connie Barrett, two conservative representatives of former President Donald Trump, voted in September to have the law go into effect, but on Monday they raised questions about its new structure. The law, designed to complicate legal proceedings, imposes heavy financial fines on clinics, doctors and all others who promote abortion.

“Millions and millions were imposed retroactively, despite the fact that the activity was perfectly legal according to all court orders and precedents at the time of its implementation, right?” asked Cavanaugh, one of several skeptical questions he posed to Judd E. Stone II, representing Texas.

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Barrett also insisted that Stone address provisions in the law that force providers to file lawsuits one after the other and, she said, do not allow “the full disclosure of their constitutional rights.”

On Monday, judges heard a three-hour argument in two cases about whether abortion providers or the Justice Department could challenge the law in federal court, which defense lawyers say has an unusual enforcement pattern that protects it from federal court hearings.

The Biden administration filed a lawsuit after judges 5-4 voted to reject the providers’ request to suspend the law. Justice Neil Gorsuch, also appointed by Trump, and two other conservative justices joined Barrett and Kavanaugh in the majority to bring the law into effect. Chief Justice John Roberts joined three liberal justices in dissenting.

Judges seemed less convinced that the Justice Department’s suit should continue, and Judge Elena Kagan suggested that ruling in favor of the suppliers instead would allow the court to avoid difficult federal issues.

In neither case is the controversial Monday directly in dispute over the right to abortion. But the motivation behind the lawsuits is that Texas law conflicts with important Supreme Court rulings that prevent the state from banning early abortion.

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