The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals effectively ended abortionists’ primary lawsuit over the Texas Heartbeat Act today. The ruling from a three-judge panel ordered district court Judge Robert Pitman to dismiss the challenges to the private enforcement of the Texas Heartbeat Act in Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson. The last step is for Pitman to dismiss the case.
Since passage of the law, abortion proponents filed 22 lawsuits trying to stop enforcement of the Texas Heartbeat Act, 14 of which are against Texas Right to Life. This case traveled to the U.S. Supreme Court twice, which dismissed several key defendants in December. The U.S. Supreme Court allowed Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson to continue in the Fifth Circuit against only a few state agencies. The Fifth Circuit then asked the Texas Supreme Court to weigh in. Texas Supreme Court judges unanimously agreed these state agencies do not have the authority to enforce the Texas Heartbeat Act under state law and returned the question to the Fifth Circuit. With this ruling, all of the abortion industry’s targets became immaterial to the legal proceedings. The Fifth Circuit’s instruction to dismiss the challenge to the Texas Heartbeat Act’s enforcement mechanism confirms what Texas Right to Life has known since the beginning: The abortion industry’s legal attacks are meritless.
The Texas Heartbeat Act continues to stop approximately 50% of abortions each day in Texas. We await a ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization from the Supreme Court of the United States, which could overturn Roe v. Wade and allow states to protect all preborn children from elective abortion. Until then, we praise God for the continued legal success of the Texas Heartbeat Act.