If granted, temporary restraining order would prevent lawsuits under “sue thy neighbor” law
WASHINGTON — Tonight, Planned Parenthood affiliates in Texas filed a request in a Texas district court for a temporary restraining order against Texas Right to Life and its associates to stop them from suing abortion providers and health care workers at Planned Parenthood health centers in Texas under the newly in-effect “sue thy neighbor” abortion ban, S.B. 8. The law took effect Wednesday after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to act and then denied an emergency request to block the law, leaving millions of Texans without access to abortion — and abortion providers and their staff vulnerable to malicious lawsuits.
The temporary restraining order request was filed in the District Court for Travis County by Planned Parenthood South Texas Surgical Center, Planned Parenthood Greater Texas Surgical Health Services, Planned Parenthood Center for Choice, and Planned Parenthood Center for Choice abortion provider Dr. Bhavik Kumar. Planned Parenthood has asked the court to enjoin Texas Right to Life, its legislative director John Seago, and anyone acting in concert with them from “enforcing” S.B. 8 by bringing lawsuits under the unconstitutional law while litigation continues.
S.B. 8 bans abortion as early as six weeks into pregnancy — before many people even know they’re pregnant. Approximately 85 to 90 percent of people who obtain abortions in Texas are at least six weeks into pregnancy, meaning this law has — and will continue to — decimate abortion access in the state.
Statement from Helene Krasnoff, vice president for public policy litigation and law, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“On Wednesday, the Supreme Court disregarded 50 years of precedent and allowed S.B. 8 to take effect, decimating access to abortion for millions of Texans. While the federal courts have so far failed to protect Texans, the fight is far from over: Planned Parenthood is doing everything we can to protect our patients’ right to access abortion, including by filing this lawsuit in state court today against deputized enforcers of this cruel law. Anti-abortion activists are already staking out our health centers, surveilling our providers, and threatening our patients. The physicians, nurses, and clinic staff at Planned Parenthood health centers in Texas — and at abortion providers statewide — deserve to come to work without fear of harassment or frivolous lawsuits.”
Earlier this week, the Travis County court issued restraining orders against Texas Right to Life on behalf of several individual plaintiffs in several separate cases. The U.S. Supreme Court allowed S.B. 8 to take effect on Wednesday, denying an emergency request to block the radical abortion ban.
Plaintiffs are represented by Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Kaplan Law Firm, PLLC, and Waters & Kraus, LLP.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for all people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect, and without judgment, striving to create equitable access to health care. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable education and information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives. Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that supports the independently incorporated Planned Parenthood affiliates operating health centers across the U.S.