Free World - September 15, 2021

A Texas law that bans abortion as early as six weeks into pregnancy took effect …

A Texas law that bans abortion as early as six weeks into pregnancy took effect this week after the Supreme Court failed to act on emergency requests from abortion providers. Nearly 24 hours later, the court said it split 5-4 and denied the providers’ emergency request to block the law. The unsigned order, issued by the Supreme Court’s conservative majority, said their decision focused on procedural issues and did not amount to a ruling on the constitutionality of the law, and that other appeals could be pursued. However, even if the ban is ultimately blocked, it will have a lasting impact on Texas and provide a roadmap for other conservative states to enact similar abortion restrictions, writes Abigail Abrams. Senate Bill 8, signed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in May, bars abortions once a doctor can detect fetal cardiac activity, which is often before many people know they are pregnant. The ban would prevent at least 85% of abortions sought in Texas, according to abortion rights advocates and providers. It is now the most restrictive abortion law in the nation; at least 12 other states have passed six-week abortion bans, but all have been blocked from going into effect. The Texas law uses a different tactic than many of the other abortion restrictions passed by Republican state legislatures in recent years—which is precisely what has made it difficult for courts to block it. The law signals a new frontier in the national fight over abortion and could mark a critical new legal strategy for conservative legislatures in how they write restrictive abortion laws in the future. Read more at the link in bio. In these photographs: a “Bans Off Our Bodies” protest at the Texas State Capitol in Austin on Sept. 1, and a “Give me my body back” sign rests against the doors of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., the next day. Photographs by @montiniquemonroe—@nytimes/@reduxpictures and @matthewrodierphotos—@sipausa


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