Texas abortion law: Supreme Court votes not to block ban

Texas abortion law: Supreme Court votes not to block ban

The court said legal challenges to the law banning abortions for most women could still proceed.


The US Supreme Court has refused to block a new law in Texas that bans abortions for most women.

The so-called Heartbeat Act bans terminations after the detection of what anti-abortion campaigners call a foetal heartbeat - a point when many women do not know they are pregnant.

The law came into effect on Wednesday. Rights groups then asked for an injunction to prevent its enforcement.

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In a late night vote, Justices ruled 5-4 against granting the injunction.

In an unsigned explanation, the court's majority said their decision was "not based on any conclusion about the constitutionality of Texas's law", and said legal challenges could still proceed.

All three of former President Donald Trump's Supreme Court appointees voted against blocking the ban. In a dissenting opinion, liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote that the court's order was "stunning".

"Presented with an application to enjoin a flagrantly unconstitutional law engineered to prohibit women from exercising their constitutional rights and evade judicial scrutiny, a majority of justices have opted to bury their heads in the sand," she said.

Earlier on Wednesday President Joe Biden condemned the law, calling it "extreme" and warning it would "significantly impair" women's access to healthcare.