A federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday that Texas can keep its temporary ban on abortion amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals said Texas Gov. Greg Abbott can ban nonessential healthcare procedures. Unless the mother’s life or health is in danger, the state of Texas can ban abortions until the case proceeds in lower courts. 

Texas was one of several states that moved to ban non-essential healthcare procedures like abortions, but federal courts had blocked other bans. 

Planned Parenthood, although not announcing what they’ll do next, said they’d challenge the decision. 

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Trump-appointed Judge Kyle Duncan said that states are allowed to put in place restrictions during a health crisis. “When faced with a society-threatening epidemic, a state may implement emergency measures that curtail constitutional rights so long as the measures have at least some ‘real or substantial relation’ to the public health crisis and are not ‘beyond all question, a plain, palpable invasion of rights secured by the fundamental law,’” Duncan wrote in his opinion. 


The order in Texas lasts until April 21 but can be extended. Critics of the order are concerned it will be used long after the pandemic fades out. 

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