On Oct. 8, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated Texas’ controversial 6-week abortion ban just days after a federal judge temporarily blocked the bill from being enforced.
The administrative stay will allow the state to continue with its stringent policy that will prohibit pregnant individuals from undergoing an abortion as early as six weeks into pregnancy. According to VOX, the Department of Justice will now have until Oct. 12 to respond to the ruling. The ban will stay in effect until then.
Women throughout the state of Texas, collectively breathed a sigh of relief on Oct. 6 after U.S. District Judge Robert Pittman granted a preliminary injunction to suspend the ban, also referred to as Senate Bill 8. Pittman argued that the bill was “unconstitutional.”
“A person’s right under the Constitution to choose to obtain an abortion prior to fetal viability is well established. With full knowledge that depriving its citizens of this right by direct state action would be flagrantly unconstitutional,” Pittman wrote in his opinion after the ruling on Oct. 6.
Many abortion clinics and providers have been shut down throughout the state out of fear of ligation, forcing many women to seek treatment elsewhere. Amy Hagstrom Miller, the CEO, and founder of Whole Woman’s Health, recently told reporters that her staff had been living with the fear of being sued, according to NPR.
“These folks don’t have attorneys or funds to hire attorneys,” she said. “Many of our physicians have opted out of providing care while SB 8 is in effect — it being just too risky for them to do so.”
Clinics are facing major financial strain as they are being forced to turn down abortion services. The strict policy gives individuals the right to sue anyone for assisting a person seeking to have an abortion while the ban is in effect, which includes health providers. People in violation of Senate Bill 8 could face hefty fines of up to $10,000. Texas’ tough abortion rules don’t provide leeway for rape or incest victims, although some cases can be considered medical emergencies.
Following the devastating news, Houston native Megan Thee Stallion spoke out about the bill’s reinstatement during her performance at Austin City Limits on Oct. 8.
According to KXAN, The “Savage” rapper held up the middle finger as she shouted to the crowd:
“This middle finger is also to these mother ***ing men that want to tell us what the f*** to do with our body. Cuz how the f*** you gonna tell me what to do with my motherf***ing body?”
After the show, the Grammy-award-winning artist took to Instagram to protest against the ban writing:
“Y’all know I’m a Texas girl and we deserve better! 🧡 Politicians want to cut off abortion access and control our bodies, lives, and futures — I’m speaking up,” she wrote while adding text information for her followers to join in on opposing Senate Bill 8.
This isn’t the first time that Meg has used her gigantic platform to speak out against political issues. Back in October of last year, the BET Hip Hop Award recipient used time during her performance on SNL to bring attention to police brutality issues during the cases of both George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.