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Court Rules Texas Heartbeat Law Can Remain in Place While Litigation Continues

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ABOVE: Chuck Donovan, president of the Charlotte Lozier Institute appeared on the Friday edition of CBN News' Faith Nation to talk about how the Texas heartbeat law is different. Click to watch the entire interview. Faith Nation is seen weeknights on the CBN News Channel

A federal judge ruled against the Biden administration on Thursday and said Texas’ heartbeat abortion law can remain in effect while the U.S. Justice Department pursues its lawsuit against the state.

The pro-life law was first struck down last week by a federal district judge only to be reinstated within two days by a panel from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. 

The 2-1 decision on Thursday marks the third time the conservative-leaning 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has sided with Texas’ request to keep the law in place while litigation continues. The panel also agreed to hear oral arguments in the Justice Department’s lawsuit against the lone star state. Oral arguments have yet to be scheduled and it could be months before they take place.

The Justice Department can now ask for an emergency appeal from the Supreme Court to overturn the circuit court’s ruling.

American abortion giant Planned Parenthood denounced the decision. “Yet again, the Fifth Circuit has shown that it is unwilling to take action to stop the immense harm Texans are facing or to protect Texans’ constitutional right to abortion,” Helene Krasnoff, Planned Parenthood's vice president for public policy litigation and law, said in a statement.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office applauded the ruling.

“The Fifth Circuit has ruled on our side - a testament that we are on the right side of the law and life,” the office tweeted Thursday night. “I’ll continue to fight back against the Biden Administration’s lawless overreach.”

The Texas law is the nation’s toughest abortion restriction. It bans the procedure after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can happen as early as six weeks of pregnancy when many women don’t even know they are pregnant. The law makes no exception for women or children who are victims of rape or incest.

According to the measure, citizens can sue abortion providers who violate it and collect $10,000 in damages.

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About The Author


Emily Jones is a multi-media journalist for CBN News in Jerusalem. Before she moved to the Middle East in 2019, she spent years regularly traveling to the region to study the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, meet with government officials, and raise awareness about Christian persecution. During her college years, Emily served as president of Regent University's Christians United for Israel chapter and spoke alongside world leaders at numerous conferences and events. She is an active member of the Philos Project, an organization that seeks to promote positive Christian engagement with the Middle