Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Corporate gatekeepers and big tech monopolists are making it more difficult than ever for independent media to survive. Please chip in today.

Protester in solidarity with Texas women

Crowds gather in Foley Square for the Women's March on October 2, 2021 in New York City. The Women's March and other groups organized marches across the country to protest the new abortion law in Texas. (Photo: Yana Paskova/Getty Images)

'Stop This Madness': Outrage After Appeals Court Reinstates Texas Abortion Ban

Packed with Trump appointees, the 5th Circuit's ruling was denounced as "unconscionable" by reproductive rights advocates.

Jon Queally

Reproductive rights advocates lashed out overnight following a ruling by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals which reinstated a near-total ban on abortion in Texas just days after a separate federal court had placed the state's law on hold pending final judicial review, most likely by the U.S. Supreme Court.

"[A] violation of half a century of precedent upholding the constitutional right to abortion."

The Friday night decision by the 5th Circuit—packed wiith judges appointed by former President Donald Trump and known as the nation's most right-wing appellate court—arrived two day after U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman of Austin issued a 113-page ruling which granted the U.S. Justice Department's request for an injunction to halt the law, known as S.B. 8, which prevents providers from offering abortion care to women after just six weeks of pregnancy.

Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, responded with outrage to the 5th Circuit's ruling that has once again shut down the ability for women in the state to seek care to which they are constitutionally entitled.

"The Supreme Court needs to step in and stop this madness," said Northrup in a statement. "It’s unconscionable that the Fifth Circuit stayed such a well-reasoned decision that allowed constitutionally protected services to return in Texas."

After Wednesday's ruling by Judge Pitman, some clinics in the state attempted to deliver services that had been put on hold by the new law's implementation.

Noting that the 5th Circuit's ruling "had been expected by many abortion providers," the New York Times reported "at least six clinics in Texas had begun conducting abortions beyond the limits of the new law this week" while "most of the state's roughly two dozen providers had opted not to take that step as the case moved through the courts."

Northrup said the situation is untenable for women in Texas.

"Patients are being thrown back into a state of chaos and fear," she said, "and this cruel law is falling hardest on those who already face discriminatory obstacles in health care, especially Black, Indigenous, and other people of color, undocumented immigrants, young people, those struggling to make ends meet, and those in rural areas. The courts have an obligation to block laws that violate fundamental rights."

Physicians for Reproductive Health (PRH) called the decision "devastating" but vowed to continue the legal battle as well as their mission to serve those Texans in need.

"Texas, there are organizers, lawyers, providers, and advocates around the country who are ready to continue following your lead and supporting your needs," the group tweeted last Friday. "We will keep going, together."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Green Groups Urge California Gov. Newsom to Close Aging Nuclear Plant on Schedule

"Diablo Canyon is dangerous, dirty, and expensive," a coalition of environmental organizations said in a letter to California's Democratic governor. "It must retire as planned."

Brett Wilkins ·


'After Which Failed Pregnancy Should I Have Been Imprisoned?' Asks Rep. Lucy McBath

The congresswoman highlighted how right-wing attacks on abortion rights could also impact the healthcare available to patients who experience miscarriages and stillbirths.

Jessica Corbett ·


'A Slap in the Face to Voters': Kansas Supreme Court Upholds GOP Map

"This case is only one skirmish in the wholesale assault on democracy in Kansas and around the country," said the head of the state's ACLU.

Jessica Corbett ·


Ahead of House Vote, Analysis Details How Big Oil Price Gouging Rewards Wall Street

"Congress has a narrow window of opportunity to stop profiteering at the pump and secure a more stable, sustainable future for all. It's time to act—before it's too late."

Brett Wilkins ·


'Major Milestone' as Rhode Island Expands Voting Rights

A newly passed measure was praised as "a huge step forward in improving and modernizing voting in the Ocean State."

Andrea Germanos ·

Common Dreams Logo