Public Health

Texas abortion providers withdraw Supreme Court petition after new 5th Circuit decision

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Abortion providers in Texas have withdrawn a Supreme Court application to allow medication abortions to continue in the state after a federal appeals court granted the relief that they sought.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at New Orleans ruled late Monday that medication abortions can proceed while litigation continues over the reach of a state ban on nonessential surgeries during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Washington Post, the Austin American-Statesman and USA Today have coverage.

The appeals court previously kept a ban on medication abortions in place while allowing abortions for women in such a late stage of pregnancy that their abortions would be illegal after the nonessential-surgery ban ends April 21.

Texas is among eight states that sought to limit abortions during the pandemic, according to the Washington Post. The other states are Alabama, Arkansas, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Louisiana and Iowa.

Litigation in Iowa ended when the state and the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa reached a compromise, the Des Moines Register reported April 1.

Two other federal appeals courts have ruled. The 10th Circuit at Denver upheld a federal judge’s decision to block an Oklahoma order banning abortions. And the 6th Circuit at Cincinnati declined to reverse a judge’s order that allowed abortions in Ohio.

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