Texas Criminal Justice System Struggles with Abortion Ban

January 1, 2022 | By Shane Phelps Law
Texas Criminal Justice System Struggles with Abortion Ban

District attorneys for Kaufman, Fort Bend, and Harris counties have voiced concerns about Texas’s abortion ban. The new abortion restrictions are complex and there are few indicators for how the criminal justice system is meant to bear the burden. Keep reading for more information.

Concerned District Attorneys

The district attorneys gathered at the Texas Tribune Festival to discuss the new law and its consequences. District Attorney Brian Middleton stated that he is concerned about the implications of criminalizing a medical decision. His fellow panelists echoed his sentiments and added that the new regulations are not only confounding but also drain already scarce resources.

The courts have only recently reached a kind of equilibrium concerning the backlog of cases aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, they are expected to handle abortion cases which could add to delays and complicate the court schedule.

Texas has also experienced an escalation in violent crime over the past year. The spike along with an influx of criminal accusations seems impractical especially considering the time it would take to properly investigate an abortion claim.

The Other Side

However, other district attorneys have made it clear that they will support representatives who can push legislation that will empower DAs to handle cases outside of their own county. If passed, this kind of regulation could drastically alter the jurisdictional power of law enforcement in Texas.

There are many risks involved with expanding jurisdictions and it could break the fragile system already in place. Lawyers, legislators, and county prosecutors are all concerned about the sheer number of unanswered questions that remain despite extensive press releases from the Governor’s office.


The abortion ban could jeopardize the efficiency of the Texas criminal justice system which is a point of concern for many district attorneys tasked with prosecuting abortion cases. Without further instruction or review, it is difficult to say how prosecuting or defending these cases will go and there are more restrictions on the horizon.

Shane Phelps Law will continue to stay updated on the abortion ban. Contact our firm for more information about our services.