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US Supreme Court Refuses to Block Texas Abortion Law

The Heartbeat Act was implemented on 1 September and focuses on almost a complete ban on abortion in Texas.

Updated
Gender
3 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>US Supreme Court declines to block Texas abortion law. Image used for representational purpose.&nbsp;</p></div>
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The US Supreme Court on Thursday, 2 September, refused an emergency appeal to block a Texas law that puts a bans on abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. The request was received from abortion rights activists on Monday, 30 August.

Called the Heartbeat Act, it was implemented on Wednesday, 1 September, and focuses on almost a complete ban on abortion in Texas.

The Act was signed by Republican Governor Greg Abbott in May this year. The law says that one cannot get an abortion once the cardiac activity is detected or felt by the doctors, which is around six weeks of pregnancy.

An exemption will only be given if the woman's health is in danger.

The law was dissented by four justices including Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Stephen Breyer, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and Justice Elena Kagan.

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One of the Strictest Abortion Laws Since 1973

After Roe v Wade (the landmark decision in 1973, in which the court ruled that the Constitution of the United States protects a pregnant woman's liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction), such a law has never been implemented in any other state, abortions activists claim.

Roe v Wade allowed women in the US the right to abortion up to the 22nd to 24th week of pregnancy.

The apex court declared that its ruling reached no conclusion on the Texas law as they are allowed to make legal challenges.

The court said, “In particular, this order is not based on any conclusion about the constitutionality of Texas’s law, and in no way limits other procedurally proper challenges to the Texas law, including in Texas state courts," reported Al Jazeera.

Through this law, private citizens get the power to sue anyone who they find providing or getting an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy.

'Violates the Constitutional Right': President Joe Biden

The President of the United States Joe Biden in a statement said that the law is “extreme” and "it violates the constitutional right established under Roe v Wade and upheld as precedent for nearly half a century”.

He further added, “My administration is deeply committed to the constitutional right established in Roe v Wade nearly five decades ago and will protect and defend that right."

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Official statement by the US President Joe Biden.</p></div>

Official statement by the US President Joe Biden.

(Photo courtesy: The White House official website)

Lawyer Julia Kaye in an interview with Al Jazeera said, “There are thousands of pregnant Texans who are sitting at their kitchen tables trying to crunch the numbers and figure out how they can possibly travel hundreds of miles out of state, in order to get time-sensitive medical care."

She further added that people who come from low-income groups in Texas, as well as people of colour, will get affected the most by this new law.

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The president of Planned Parenthood, Alexis McGill Johnson, called the execution of the law as "an incredibly dark day", reported WION.

In the coming months, the court will also hear a case regarding a new law being introduced in Mississippi that will ban abortion once the person completes 15 weeks of pregnancy. Exemption will only be allowed here if there is a medical reason involved.

(With Inputs from Al Jazeera and NDTV)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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