The United States Supreme Court will hear an appeal on abortion during the virus crisis
WASHINGTON: Human rights defenders on Saturday called on the United States Supreme Court to intervene urgently to compel Texas to restore the right to abortion, which has been suspended in the state since the start of the new pandemic.
This is the first COVID-19 related appeal to reach the highest US court, which has been operating only in writing for almost a month.
The Court, which legalized abortion in 1973 in its landmark Roe v. Wade decision You will have to decide whether a state can suspend the law in the name of a public health emergency.
This case will be a test for the Supreme Court, which has been profoundly remodeled since the election of the President. Donald trump .
During his campaign, the Republican billionaire promised to name only the court against abortion. Since then, it has brought in two new judges out of nine.
The petition concerns Texas's decision -- later followed by other conservative states -- to include abortion on the list of "non-emergency" medical procedures prohibited while the COVID-19 outbreak continues.
State Governor Greg Abbott argued that these procedures should be suspended to keep hospital beds available for coronavirus patients and protective equipment for their caregivers.
Abortion rights activists said the crisis was being exploited for ideological purposes and immediately brought the matter to court.
They noted that abortions could not wait, that most of them were medical, and that Texas women who wanted to terminate a pregnancy would likely travel to neighboring states, at the risk of spreading the virus.
A federal court twice ruled in their favor, but its decision s were overturned on appeal. Texas abortion clinics are therefore asking the Supreme Court to reinstate the lower court's decision .
This is an extraordinarily difficult time, but this is an easy case, said Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, who advocates for them.
Texas is blatantly abusing its emergency power to destroy Roe v. Wade added in a statement.
Other courts in Ohio, Alabama, and Oklahoma have repealed similar measures.
While abortion is legal across the United States, there are large regional disparities in access to the procedure.
The coastal states have many clinics, while the more religious states of the center and the south have adopted many restrictive regulations that have forced many facilities to be closed.