La Jornada newspaper
Sunday, September 5, 2021, p. 24

Austin. A state judge yesterday issued an order protecting, for now, Texas clinics that perform abortions from the lawsuits of a group that opposes the termination of pregnancy, stemming from a new state law.

The temporary restraining order – issued by Austin State District Judge Maya Guerra Gamble in response to Planned Parenthood’s request – does not interfere with the law. However, it does protect the lawsuit clinics of the nonprofit group Right to Life, its legislative director, and 100 unidentified individuals. A hearing will be held on September 13 on a request for a preliminary injunction.

The law, which went into effect Wednesday, allows anyone in the state to sue any individual linked to an abortion in which cardiac activity has been detected in the embryo, which generally happens at six weeks’ gestation, when the Most women have not yet realized that they are pregnant.

In a petition filed Thursday night, Planned Parenthood noted that 85 to 90 percent of women requesting termination of pregnancy in Texas are at least six weeks pregnant.

The order offers protection to the courageous health care workers and staff at Planned Parenthood centers throughout Texas, who have continued to provide health care to the best of the law as they face surveillance, harassment, and threats from armed volunteers eager to stop them, Helene Krasnoff, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood, said in a statement.

However, the order will not discourage Texas Right to Life, said Elizabeth Graham, the group’s vice president. In a statement, the organization said: We hope that an impartial court will reject Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit. Until then, we will continue our diligent efforts to ensure that the abortion industry fully complies with the new law.