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A judge in the US has temporarily blocked the new law abortion laws in Texas.
Following a request from the Biden administration, District Judge Robert Pitman has granted a request to prevent the laws from being enforced while they are still being challenged.
The judge wrote: "From the moment S.B. 8 went into effect, women have been unlawfully prevented from exercising control over their lives in ways that are protected by the Constitution.
"That other courts may find a way to avoid this conclusion is theirs to decide; this Court will not sanction one more day of this offensive deprivation of such an important right."
The Biden administration filed an emergency motion to block the law, after the Supreme Court rejected the request to stop Texas from enacting the controversial laws.
While women's health clinics are making plans to resume terminations, the ruling has already been appealed, with anti-abortion groups accusing the judge of "catering to the abortion industry".
A spokesperson for Whole Woman's Health said: "We breathe a deep sigh of relief. This is the justice we have been seeking for weeks and we are grateful that the court has finally stepped in to curb some of the harm Texans have faced."
The abortion bill, dubbed SB8, is one of the most restrictive in the US and came into effect at midnight on Wednesday 1st September.
It outlaws abortions when an ultrasound can detect a foetal heartbeat; the heart of an embryo starts to beat from around five to six weeks into pregnancy, and can be detectable through a vaginal ultrasound.
Although supporters refer to it as the “foetal heartbeat” bill, medical experts have called this term misleading. While embryos do have cardiac activity during this early stage of development, they do not have functional hearts.
The bill also bans abortions in cases where the woman was impregnated as a result of rape or incest.
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