Supreme Court is Skeptical to Agree with Texas Abortion Ban

Texas visited the Supreme Court in attempt to avoid lawsuit threatened by abortion providers.

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Texas visited the Supreme Court in attempt to avoid lawsuit threatened by abortion providers.

Isabel Tercero, Reporter

Right before midnight on September 1, 2021, the Supreme Court ruled that it would not block the Texas abortion ban from getting a lawsuit.

Recently, Texas lawmakers created an abortion ban named S.B.8, which is the nation’s most restrictive abortion ban. It almost completely bans all abortions in the state. It doesn’t permit abortions when doctor’s are able to detect a fetal heartbeat, which is about six weeks into pregnancy. The law allows exceptions for medial emergencies only. Any case concerning rape or incest is considered invalid to the exception.

S.B.8 encourages citizens to help enforce that rule. It allows almost anyone to sue a person who provides help to an abortion after 6 weeks of pregnancy. This includes everything from medical attention to assistance from family and friends. The law may also reach beyond Texas boarders. For example, if someone from another state decides to help a Texan with an abortion, they could get sued for aiding the Texan.

Due to their new law, abortion clinics have decided to sue Texas and their attempt to ban abortion procedures. The reasoning behind the lawsuit is because S.B.8 could possibly shutdown many abortion clinics. Since many women don’t realize they are pregnant until after the 6 week mark, they wouldn’t be able to schedule an abortion if desired. Therefore, by the time they realize and attempt to schedule an appointment, abortion clinics are forced to turn those women away.

To try to avoid the lawsuit, Texas went to the Supreme Court to settle this. Texas asked the Supreme Court to block the lawsuit. As the Supreme Court was reviewing the new Texas law, they were immediately concerned. At the end, the vote was 5 to 4. The majority opinion stated that the Texas law should be able to be challenged by “procedurally proper challenges.”

Justice Sonya Sotomayor stated “The court’s order is stunning,” in her dissent. “Presented with an application to enjoin a flagrantly unconstitutional law engineered to prohibit women from exercising their constitutional rights and evade judicial scrutiny, a majority of justices have opted to bury their heads in the sand.”

It is unclear if the law will continue to stay in effect, but it is widely hypothesized that abortion providers will pursue a federal court challenge against S.B.8.