WASHINGTON-The highly divided Supreme Court allowed a Texas law that prohibits most abortions to remain in effect, depriving most women in the second largest state of the United States of their abortion rights.
The court voted 5 to 4 to reject abortion providers and other emergency appeals that tried to prevent enforcement of the law that went into effect on Wednesday.
The Texas law signed by Republican Governor Greg Abbott in May prohibits abortion after a medical professional detects cardiac activity, usually in about six weeks, and most women know that they are Before pregnancy.
This is the strictest law against abortion rights in the United States since the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling of the High Court in 1973, and is part of a broader push by Republicans across the country to impose new restrictions on abortion. At least 12 other states have issued bans early in pregnancy, but they have all been prevented from taking effect.
The high court’s order to refuse to stop Texas law was issued before midnight on Wednesday.
“In reaching this conclusion, we emphasize that we do not intend to finally resolve any jurisdiction or substantive claims in the applicant’s litigation. In particular, the order is not based on any conclusions about the constitutionality of Texas law, nor There is no limit to other procedurally appropriate challenges to Texas law, including in Texas courts,” the unsigned order said.
Chief Justice John Roberts disagrees with the three liberal justices of the court: Justice Stephen Breyer, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and Justice Elena Kagan. Each of the four dissenting judges wrote a separate statement, emphasizing their disagreement with the majority.
Texas legislators enacted the law to evade federal court review by allowing ordinary citizens to file civil lawsuits in state courts against anyone involved in abortion except for patients. Other abortion laws are enforced by state and local officials and may be subject to criminal sanctions.
Opponents of the measure sought review by the Supreme Court after the Federal Court of Appeals refused to allow a rapid review of the law before it went into effect.
For a long time, Texas has had some of the strictest abortion restrictions in the country, including a comprehensive law passed in 2013. The Supreme Court eventually repealed the law, but before more than half of the more than 40 clinics in the state closed.
Even before the Texas case reaches the High Court, the judges plan to resolve the issue of abortion rights in major cases after the court resumes hearings in the fall. The case involved the state of Mississippi, which required permission to enforce an abortion ban after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
Paul J. Weber, an Associated Press writer based in Austin, Texas, contributed to this report.