Judge sets Oct. 1 hearing on DOJ request to freeze Texas abortion ban

A federal judge on Wednesday scheduled an Oct. 1 hearing to weigh a Biden administration request to freeze a Texas law that prohibits abortions after six weeks from conception and authorizes private citizens to sue people thought to perform or aid in an abortion outside of that window.

U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman’s order keeps the law in effect and allows Texas to make its case opposing the request from Biden’s Justice Department by Sept. 29. The administration can then respond before Oct. 1.

The Justice Department had sought to immediately block the law, saying it was unconstitutional. A Sept. 14 filing detailed the law’s effects on individual patients, such as forcing them to make lengthy trips out of state to terminate pregnancies.