Federal Appeals Court Reinstates Texas Heartbeat Bill; DOJ Tries To Block It AGAIN


Jay Sekulow

October 12, 2021

5 min read

Pro Life



The heartbeat law in Texas that bans an abortion after a heartbeat has been detected has been down a bumpy road before ending up where it is now. We told you how a federal judge struck down the heartbeat bill just last week. And now the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has reinstated the law, temporarily, making the law in effect once again.

ACLJ Senior Counsel CeCe Heil explains the history of this law getting to this point:

On September 1st, this law went into effect, and it bans abortions once a baby’s heartbeat is detected. But it puts the enforcement procedure in the hands of individual citizens, and so that’s what makes it really interesting. . . . The abortion advocates sued Texas immediately. It went all the way up to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court let it stand on procedural grounds. Now the DOJ has sued Texas. We saw a district judge last Wednesday grant a preliminary injunction enjoining the law. But on Friday, Texas went to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the 5th Circuit granted an administrative stay. So, as it stands right now, this law banning abortions effectively is in effect in Texas. Now, the DOJ did answer yesterday, so we will see what the 5th Circuit says – if it can stand or if it will be enjoined pending this appeal.

In the meantime, while we wait for the 5th Circuit’s response, the pro-life movement is gaining significant momentum. We are representing Governor Kristi Noem and the State of South Dakota in upholding the state’s pro-life law. We have also filed three critical amicus briefs in the Dobbs case out of Mississippi that could overturn Roe v. Wade. We’ve been fighting this issue since as early as 1988.

However, medical science has advanced since 1988. Today, the Left’s argument that a child in the womb is actually not a child has proven to be untrue. CeCe Heil gave her opinion on this argument:

Planned Parenthood is losing the battle there. People know that this is a baby. But they try to spin it. They try to make it about women’s rights and a woman’s right to access reproductive healthcare. They don’t want to talk about the fact that this woman is choosing to terminate the life of her child. But we see in South Dakota, there are commonsense laws in place. . . . We see states are implementing commonsense laws and I applaud them. 

We’ve been helping states pass pro-life laws and defending pro-lifers in court since 1988, when we represented 400 protestors who were speaking out for life, including sidewalk counselors who were all charged for crimes just for sharing the truth about abortion. Here we are 33 years later still fighting for life. ACLJ Senior Counsel Geoff Surtees joined Sekulow to discuss our work in the pro-life arena over the span of four decades: 

It’s amazing. And the fight – we have had victories and defeats along the way, but we keep fighting every day, every month, every year. . . . Not just for the right for life, but the right of sidewalk counselors to be able to speak about life. It all just goes to show that this current Administration . . . we now have an all-out all-abortion ideology at work in this Administration. . . . They don’t just want to ensure access; they don’t want to force people into paying for it. . . . Sidewalk counselors are literally on the front lines sharing the pro-life message to those who need to hear it the most. . . . It all relates to our case in the 8th Circuit representing the State of South Dakota. . . . Why shouldn’t women contemplating this choice be counseled about the options that are available to them?

The Biden Administration is one of the most pro-abortion Administrations we have seen. They have also proven to be one of the weakest Administrations on foreign policy that we’ve ever seen. At the Pentagon this week, the first software chief declared China has won the global tech war; and then he resigned from his position.

ACLJ Senior Advisor for National Security and former Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell explained what this move means:

This is really scary when you think about what this means. It is an admittance that we are failing. I’ve tried to say before that Russia is a problem, but China is a crisis. We’ve got to be able to understand that American companies that are doing sensitive classified work for the American government should not also be working in China with junior partners. If you are a junior partner with a company in China, that company is beholden to the communist party of China. There is no question about that. Anyone who is listening to their classified intelligence briefings will tell you this is the way China is manipulating data and getting the best of us. This individual at the Pentagon has resigned because the system isn’t supporting the changes that he believes we need. We can’t continue to have Chinese partners when it comes to our drones or our microchips. They are using backdoor techniques to get our information and get the best of us.

We have been advocating for Congress to hold President Biden accountable for the way his foreign policy decisions have affected the American people and our allies.

On the pro-life front, we’ve been fighting the issue of abortion for a long time. We’ve documented our involvement in the pro-life movement in our documentary film “Abortion, Inc.” on acljfilms.com. We’re fighting at the Supreme Court, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, and a trial court in New Jersey right now.

Today’s full Sekulow broadcast is complete with even more analysis of the Texas heartbeat bill and the Pentagon official’s resignation.

Watch the full broadcast below.