Abortion providers on Thursday turned to the Supreme Court to ask the justices again to intervene in a legal challenge over the new Texas abortion law, even as the case proceeds through a lower court.
The request was somewhat unusual, coming just over three weeks after the justices voted 5-4 to deny the groups' emergency request to block the law, and prior to a lower court definitively ruling on a core question at hand.
But the challengers said the justices’ fast-track intervention was “urgently needed,” with abortion access in Texas having been sharply curtailed since the restrictive statute took effect on Sept. 1.
“For 23 days, we’ve been forced to deny essential abortion care for the vast majority of patients who come to us. Most of those we’ve turned away told us they would not be able to make it out of Texas for care,” said Amy Hagstrom Miller, who heads Whole Woman’s Health, one of the groups involved in the legal challenge. “This chaos must come to an end, and that is why we are going back to the Supreme Court today.”
The Texas law, known as S.B. 8, prohibits abortions after fetal cardiac activity is detected, typically around six weeks of pregnancy. It authorizes private citizens to sue those who perform or aid the procedure in violation of the law, providing for at least $10,000 in each successful suit.
Before the law took effect, abortion rights advocates and providers sued to block Texas state judges from enforcing the law and court clerks from accepting lawsuits alleging violations of S.B. 8. The defendants, who are state officials, in turn claim the lawsuit against them is improper, and have asked that the case be dismissed.
That case is pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, which despite expediting the proceedings, wi... (Read more)
Submitted 29 days ago