Support Local Journalism, Join the SA Current Press Club.

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Women's health groups ask U.S. Supreme Court to block Texas' abortion ban from going into effect

Posted By on Tue, Aug 31, 2021 at 10:23 AM

click to enlarge Women dressed like characters from The Handmaid's Tale protesting anti-abortion bills at the Texas state capitol during the 2019 legislative session. - TWITER / ALEXA GARCIA-DITTA
  • Twiter / Alexa Garcia-Ditta
  • Women dressed like characters from The Handmaid's Tale protesting anti-abortion bills at the Texas state capitol during the 2019 legislative session.
Women's health providers on Monday made a last-ditch plea asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the Texas' restrictive new abortion law, which becomes effective Wednesday.

The so-called "heartbeat law" championed by Republican lawmakers would ban the medical procedure as soon as a fetal heartbeat is detectable — early as six weeks of pregnancy, or before many women are even aware they're pregnant.

Opponents of the law argue it would close down clinics since it bans some 85% of abortions that currently take place in Texas. Reproductive-rights advocates also say a provision in the law that lets private citizens sue anyone they believe has violated the ban would create a "bounty hunting scheme."

"In less than two days, Texas politicians will have effectively overturned Roe v. Wade," Center for Reproductive Rights CEO Nancy Northup said in an emailed statement. "We have filed an emergency motion in the Supreme Court to block this law before clinics are forced to turn patients away. Patients will have to travel out of state — in the middle of a pandemic — to receive constitutionally guaranteed healthcare. And many will not have the means to do so. It’s cruel, unconscionable, and unlawful.”

On Sunday, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals denied a request by women's health providers to block the bill, effectively forcing them to ask the high court to intervene.

Twelve other states have passed heartbeat bills, but none have been allowed to take effect. The authors of Texas' bill included the provision allowing private citizens to sue for enforcement to insulate it from review by federal courts.

Stay on top of San Antonio news and views. Sign up for our Weekly Headlines Newsletter.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Support Local Journalism.
Join the San Antonio Current Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the San Antonio Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 8, 2021

View more issues


Join SA Current Newsletters

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2021 San Antonio Current

Website powered by Foundation