(RightWing.org) – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed the Texas Heartbeat Act (SB8) into law on May 19. The measure effectively bans all abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. The legal backlash was swift, with abortion clinics and President Joe Biden’s Justice Department filing separate lawsuits aimed at blocking enforcement of the law. However, the US Supreme Court recently upheld it while remanding portions of one of the cases back to the lower courts.
On Friday, December 10, the Supreme Court handed down its ruling in the cases, one filed by abortion providers and the other by the Justice Department. The eight-to-one decisions handed a partial victory to both the pro-choice plaintiffs and pro-life defendants.
Today's splintered decision from the Supreme Court leaves Texas' six-week abortion ban in effect and narrows the ability of abortion providers to continue their challenge to the law in the lower courts. Our full analysis from @AHoweBlogger:https://t.co/n1EinlBsgd
— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) December 10, 2021
SCOTUS ruled in the abortion providers case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson, that the plaintiffs could challenge the statute’s enforcement, but reduced the defendant class to include only Texas licensing officials like the state’s health and human services commission, pharmacy board, and nursing board. The Court dismissed other state officials like the Texas attorney general from the lawsuit.
The Court also dismissed the Justice Department case as improvidently granted, meaning the Supreme Court shouldn’t have accepted the case in the first place.
In a significant move, the Supreme Court didn’t rule on the potential constitutionality of the Texas law. It also allowed the law to remain in effect while the case worked its way through the lower courts.
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