Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton asked the Texas Supreme Court to consider an emergency motion Thursday to vacate a temporary restraining order blocking enforcement of the state's pre-Roe criminal prohibitions on elective abortions.
On Tuesday, a Harris County district court issued a temporary restraining order at the request of several abortion clinics to stop the state from enforcing any pre-Roe v. Wade abortion bans.
In the motion, Paxton argued the state legislature never repealed Texas' preexisting laws that prohibited abortion before Roe v. Wade existed and that now that it's been overturned by the Supreme Court those old laws will be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 lack standing and on claims barred by sovereign immunity.
"Let there be no mistake: the lower court's unlawful order does not immunize criminal conduct, which can 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 put in jeopardy by plaintiffs' wrongful actions and the trial court's erroneous order," Paxton said in a statement, asserting he will prosecute abortions performed under the TRO once it's vacated.
Paxton asked the Texas Supreme Court to consider the motion by July 6. The Harris County court that granted the TRO has scheduled a hearing for July 12 in Houston where a more permanent injunction is to be considered.