US federal judge temporarily blocks Texas' near-total abortion ban

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Houston [US], October 7 (ANI/Xinhua): A federal judge in the south-central U.S. state of Texas temporarily blocked the state's highly controversial near-total abortion ban.

District Judge Robert Pitman issued an order on Wednesday to suspend the country's most restrictive abortion state law, which has since Sept. 1 banned abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, typically occurring roughly six weeks into pregnancy.

"The State has forfeited the right to any such accommodation by pursuing an unprecedented and aggressive scheme to deprive its citizens of a significant and well-established constitutional right," Pitman wrote in his ruling.

Abortion services in Texas may not instantly resume even with the law on hold, an ABC News report said, because doctors still fear they could be sued without a more permanent legal decision.

Local officials swiftly appealed the order to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which previously allowed the restrictions to take effect.

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hear arguments in December in Mississippi's bid to overturn 1973's landmark Roe v. Wade decision guaranteeing a woman's right to an abortion. (ANI/Xinhua)

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