Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Courts Grapple With State Abortion Bans In COVID-19 Responses

As previously reported, Texas and Ohio have included abortions as non-essential medical procedures which are banned to preserve resources for treatment of COVID-19 patients. Alabama has also imposed a similar ban. Wall Street Journal reports that district court judges in each of those states have blocked the bans. However yesterday in In re Abbott, (5th Cir., March 31, 2020), the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in a 2-1 decision temporarily stayed the Texas federal district court's injunction, allowing the ban on abortions to remain, at least for the time being. The state however was directed to file an initial response by 8:00 a.m. today.