HOUSTON — A federal appeals court panel reinstated Texas’ restrictive abortion law late Friday, temporarily restoring a ban on virtually all procedures that had been blocked by a lower court two days earlier in a case brought by the Biden administration.
The decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in a terse two-page ruling granting an appeal by the state of Texas, had been expected by many abortion providers. While at least six clinics in Texas had begun conducting abortions beyond the limits of the new law this week, most of the state’s roughly two dozen providers had opted not to take that step as the case moved through the courts.
The law, which bans most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, went into effect at the start of September. Since then, it has altered the landscape for abortions in the nation’s second-most-populous state because of its unique structure, which bars state officials from enforcing its provisions, leaving that instead to private citizens.