The Supreme Court has now allowed Texas’s so-called ‘Heartbeat bill’ to take effect, which effectively bans abortion in that state after about six weeks (as soon as a heartbeat can be detected).
As Bloomberg Law reports:
A Texas law barring abortion after the sixth week of pregnancy took effect at least temporarily on Wednesday as the U.S. Supreme Court kept silent on a bid by clinics and doctors to block the measure while a legal challenge goes forward.
With the high court taking no action Tuesday night, the Texas law kicked in and instantly became the country’s strictest abortion restriction, prohibiting the procedure before many women even know they are pregnant. Challengers say the measure would ban abortions for at least 85% of the women seeking one in the second-most populous state.
The Supreme Court could act on Wednesday on the Texas law, though the justices don’t have any firm deadline.
A Supreme Court decision to allow the ban could indicate a readiness to fulfill a decades-old conservative dream and overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, which legalized abortion nationwide. Abortion opponents came close to that goal in 1992, only to see the court instead reaffirm Roe and say a woman’s constitutional right is protected until the fetus becomes viable, sometime after the 20th week of pregnancy.
Will the Supreme Court follow through on the long-held conservative dream of the dismantling Roe vs Wade, or will conservatives once more find themselves disappointed?