Judges, however, postponed a decision on an administration’s request to block the law while litigation continues, prompting dissent from liberal judge Sonia Sotomayor. “The promise of future judgment, however, offers cold comfort to women in Texas who seek abortion care, who are entitled to relief now,” Sotomayor wrote.
The Texas measure, part of a series of restrictive abortion laws backed by Republicans and passed statewide in recent years, bans the procedure after about six weeks of pregnancy, a time when many women do not yet realize that they are pregnant. It makes an exception for a documented medical emergency but not for cases of rape or incest.
The Supreme Court is already set to consider another major abortion case on Dec. 1 in a dispute over Mississippi law banning abortions from 15 weeks pregnant. In that case, Mississippi asked judges to overturn the Roe v. Wade of 1973 which legalized abortion nationwide. A decision is due by the end of June 2022.
The Supreme Court, which has a conservative 6-3 majority, previously allowed Texas law enforcement to challenge abortion providers. In this September 1 5-4 ruling, Tory Chief Justice John Roberts expressed his skepticism about the way the law is applied and joined the three dissenting Liberal justices.