A federal judge late Wednesday temporarily blocked enforcement of Texas\u0026#039; near-total abortion ban, issuing a scathing order that condemns the recently enacted law as an \u0022unprecedented and aggressive scheme\u0022 to strip state residents of their reproductive rights.\r\n\r\n\u0022We already know the politicians behind this law will stop at nothing until they\u0026#039;ve banned abortion entirely.\u0022\r\n\r\nIn his 113-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman of Austin grants the Justice Department\u0026#039;s request for an injunction and argues that Texas \u0022forfeited the right\u0022 to delay the injunction during the appeal process, which the state sought to begin almost immediately after Pitman\u0026#039;s order came down.\r\n\r\n\u0022From the moment S.B. 8 went into effect, women have been unlawfully prevented from exercising control over their lives in ways that are protected by the Constitution,\u0022 Pitman writes. \u0022That other courts may find a way to avoid this conclusion is theirs to decide; this court will not sanction one more day of this offensive deprivation of such an important right.\u0022\r\n\r\nReproductive rights advocates welcomed Pitman\u0026#039;s ruling but stressed that the fight is far from over, given that S.B. 8 allows for retroactive lawsuits against abortion providers and anyone who \u0022aids or abets\u0022 the procedure after roughly six weeks of gestation, before many people know they\u0026#039;re pregnant.\r\n\r\n\u0022This injunction is a critical first step in restoring abortion rights and services in Texas,\u0022 said\u0026nbsp;Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights. \u0022For 36 days, patients have been living in a state of panic, not knowing where or when they\u0026#039;d be able to get abortion care. The clinics and doctors we represent hope to resume full abortion services as soon as they are able, even though the threat of being sued retroactively will not be completely gone until S.B. 8 is struck down for good. The cruelty of this law is endless.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022While we are relieved that a court has finally blocked this unconstitutional law, today\u0026#039;s court order is only temporary,\u0022 Northup added. \u0022This is not the end. We know the state of Texas will keep defending this malicious ban.\u0022\r\n\r\nBrigitte Amiri, deputy director of the ACLU\u0026#039;s Reproductive Freedom Project, said in a statement that \u0022though the court\u0026#039;s ruling offers a sigh of relief, the threat of Texas\u0026#039; abortion ban still looms over the state as cases continue to move through the courts.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022We already know the politicians behind this law will stop at nothing until they\u0026#039;ve banned abortion entirely,\u0022 said Amiri, who noted that the Texas law has already had a \u0022devastating\u0022 impact on vulnerable people across the state.\r\n\r\n\u0022People who need abortion care and have resources have been forced to flee the state and those without resources or the ability to travel have been forced to remain pregnant against their will,\u0022 Amiri continued. \u0022The law has impacted the most marginalized the harshest, including people of color and young people. This fight is far from over, and we\u0026#039;re ready to do everything we can to make sure every person can get the abortion care they need regardless of where they live or how much they make.\u0022\r\n\r\nSigned by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in May, the Texas law empowers private citizens rather than state officials to enforce the abortion ban, a deliberate attempt to evade legal challenges. Under the law, which other GOP-led states are moving to replicate, plaintiffs who succeed in court are entitled to a $10,000 reward as well as the recovery of their legal fees.\r\n\r\nLast month, the conservative-dominated U.S. Supreme Court opted to leave the draconian law in place, imperiling abortion rights in Texas and across the country. On December 1, the Supreme Court is set to begin hearing oral arguments in a separate case that poses a direct threat to Roe v. Wade.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe Supreme Court\u0026#039;s decision to let the Texas ban take effect spurred action from the House of Representatives, which on September 24 passed legislation that would codify abortion rights into federal law. But as long as the 60-vote legislative filibuster remains in place, the bill is likely to die in the Senate due to Republican opposition.\r\n\r\nIn response to Pitman\u0026#039;s ruling, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.)—chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus—said that \u0022this decision gives us time that we absolutely can\u0026#039;t waste.\r\n\r\n\u0022The Senate must join the House in immediately passing the Women\u0026#039;s Health Protection Act so we can end cruel bans and guarantee the right to abortion care for every pregnant person throughout Texas and across America,\u0022 Jayapal added.