Texas abortion ban temporarily lifted for women with complex pregnancies

Travis County District Court Judge Jessica Mangrum in her ruling sided with women and doctors who sued Texas over the abortion ban.

A temporary injunction, issued Friday by a Texas judge, exempts women with complicated pregnancies from the state ban on abortion. The judge cited a lack in clarity regarding the medical exemptions to the ban.

Jessica Mangrum, a Travis County District court judge, sided with the women and doctors that sued Texas for its abortion ban.

In the decision, Mangrum stated that “the Court finds there is uncertainty as to whether the medical exemption to Texas’s abortion bans… allows a physician, acting in good faith and with consultation of the pregnant woman, to provide abortion services when the pregnant woman has an urgent medical condition.”

The injunction is temporary and will remain in place until the Texas lawsuit has been completed, unless an upper court steps in. It is expected that the injunction will be appealed.

21 July 2023 3:37

The judge ruled doctors could not be prosecuted if they provided abortions in good faith for medical conditions such as those that are dangerous or pose an infection risk, or that make pregnancy unsafe. Also, if the fetus will likely die after birth or a condition that cannot be treated effectively during pregnancy, or that requires “recurrent, pervasive interventions.”

The Center for Reproductive Rights (the group that filed the lawsuit) said, “Today’s decision alleviates months’ worth of confusion about what conditions qualify under Texas’s abortion bans as medical emergencies, giving doctors permission for them to use their medical judgment when determining whether abortion care is necessary.”

In March, several women who claimed they were denied abortions despite serious risk to their life sued the state. This was the first known case of pregnant woman suing the state over restrictions imposed following the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision in June 2022.

The injunction takes effect immediately. The trial date was set for March 25, by the judge.

Texas has banned abortion with very few exceptions.

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court stripped away all national abortion rights. After that ruling, state legislatures are deciding how to limit or expand abortion rights.

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