Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton asked the Texas Supreme Court on Thursday to consider an emergency motion to lift a temporary restraining order blocking enforcement of the state’s pre-Roe criminal bans on elective abortions. .
On Tuesday, at the request of several abortion clinics, a Harris County district court issued a temporary restraining order to prevent the state from imposing abortion bans before Roe v. Wade.
In the motion, Paxton argued that the state legislature never repealed Texas’ existing laws prohibiting abortion before Roe v. Wade existed and that now that it has been quashed by the Supreme Court, those old laws will be enforced.
The attorney general said the Harris County court that issued the restraining order did so in a case where plaintiffs have no standing and on claims barred from sovereign immunity.
“Make no mistake about it: The illegal lower court order does not exonerate criminal conduct, which may be punished at a later date once the temporary restraining order is lifted. My office will not hesitate to act in defense of unborn Texans that have been endangered by the plaintiffs’ wrongful actions and the incorrect order of the court,” Paxton said in a statement, claiming he will prosecute abortions performed under the TRO once it is vacated.
Paxton asked the Texas Supreme Court to consider the motion before July 6. The Harris County court that assigned the TRO has scheduled a hearing for July 12 in Houston, where a more permanent ban is to be considered.