Supreme Court allows Texas law banning abortion to stand

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A deeply divided Supreme Court allows a Texas law banning most abortions to remain in effect, for now denying most women the right to abortion in the nation’s second-largest state.

The court voted 5-4 to reject an emergency appeal by abortion providers and others who sought to block enforcement of the law that came into force on Wednesday. But the justices also suggested that Wednesday’s order is unlikely to be the final word on the validity of the law, as further challenges may yet be made.

The Texas law, signed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in May, bans abortions once medical professionals can detect heart activity, usually around six weeks and before most women know they are pregnant. .

It is the toughest law against abortion rights in the United States since the landmark High Court decision Roe v. Wade in 1973 and is part of a broader campaign by Republicans nationwide. to impose new restrictions on abortion. At least 12 other states have enacted early pregnancy bans, but all have been blocked from going into effect.

The High Court’s order refusing to stop the Texas law came just before midnight Wednesday.

“In reaching this conclusion, we emphasize that we do not purport to definitively resolve any jurisdictional or material claims in the plaintiffs’ trial. In particular, this order is not based on any finding regarding the constitutionality of Texas law and in no way limits other proper procedural challenges to Texas law, including in the courts of the State of Texas,” indicates the unsigned prescription.

Chief Justice John Roberts dissented with the court’s three liberal justices: Justice Stephen Breyer, Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Justice Elena Kagan. Each of the four dissenting justices wrote separate statements outlining their disagreement with the majority.

Texas lawmakers drafted the law to escape federal court review by allowing private citizens to bring civil suits in state court against anyone involved in an abortion other than the patient. Other abortion laws are enforced by national and local authorities, with possible criminal penalties.

After a federal appeals court refused to allow a speedy review of the law before it took effect, opponents of the measure sought a review by the Supreme Court.

In a statement Thursday after the High Court action, Nancy Northup, director of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which represents abortion providers challenging the law, vowed to “continue to fight this ban until the access to abortion be restored in Texas”.

“We are devastated that the Supreme Court has refused to block a law that flagrantly violates Roe v. Wade. Right now, people seeking abortions across Texas are panicking — they don’t know where or when they will be able to get an abortion, if ever. Texas politicians have so far succeeded in flouting the rule of law, upending abortion care in Texas, and forcing patients out of the state — if they can afford it — to seek care. health care protected by the Constitution. It should send shivers down the spine of anyone in this country who cares about the constitution,” she said.

Texas has long had some of the toughest abortion restrictions in the country, including a sweeping law passed in 2013. The Supreme Court eventually struck down that law, but not before more than half of more than 40 state clinics.

Even before the Texas case came to the High Court, the justices had planned to tackle the issue of abortion rights in a major case after the court resumed hearing arguments at the fall. This case involves the state of Mississippi, which is asking to be allowed to enforce a ban on abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

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