Supreme Court lets clinics' challenge to Texas abortion ban proceed but leaves law in effect

click to enlarge Abortion-rights advocates hold up signs in front of the U.S. Supreme Court last month. - TWITTER / AMYHM
Twitter / AmyHM
Abortion-rights advocates hold up signs in front of the U.S. Supreme Court last month.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday refused to hear an appeal from the Biden administration challenging Texas' near-total ban on abortions. However, in a partial victory for abortion advocates, it allowed women's health clinics to pursue their separate suit to shut down the law.

The conservative-dominated court allowed the abortion providers' suit to move forward on an 8-1 decision but stopped short of halting enforcement of the controversial law, which bans virtually all abortions after six weeks and allows private citizens to sue people they accuse of violating the legislation.

That means the clinics must go back to a district judge who previously blocked the law on the grounds that it violated the constitutional right to abortion, according to a Washington Post legal analysis. Writing for himself and the court's three liberal justices, Chief Justice John Roberts urged that judge to move quickly.

“Given the ongoing chilling effect of the state law, the District Court should resolve this litigation and enter appropriate relief without delay,” Roberts wrote, according to the Post.

Abortion-rights advocates said the legal fight to ensure women in Texas can access abortion care is far form over. The high court ruling was a mixed verdict for the plaintiffs since they had asked the court to block the law while debate over its constitutionality plays out.

"Today is day 101 of Texans being denied their basic right to essential abortion care. Texans deserve better than this," tweeted Amy Hagstrom Miller, president and CEO of Whole Woman’s Health  and Whole Woman’s Health Alliance. "This ban will have lasting effects on Texan communities for decades to come. We know this decision isn’t the end and our fight against this law is not over."

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