Supreme Court will consider fast track appeal of Texas abortion law

Politics

Pro-choice activists hold signs outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 4, 2021.
Stefani Reynolds | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to a request from abortion-rights advocates and providers to quickly consider taking up their challenge of a restrictive Texas law that bans most abortions after as early as six weeks of pregnancy.

The petitioners last month had submitted the unusual request for the Supreme Court to hear the case before final judgment in lower courts. If the court agrees to consider the case on an expedited basis, it could accept briefs, hear arguments and deliver a ruling much faster than if the case had to wind through the normal court channels.

The high court directed the respondents in the case to file a response by noon on Thursday.

The law, which bans most abortions at a point when many women are not yet aware of their pregnancy, also empowers private citizens to file lawsuits against anyone who “aids or abets” in the procedures. Critics say that system effectively turns citizens into bounty hunters.

The Texas abortion providers and organizations in August had filed an emergency request for the Supreme Court to stop the restrictive state law, S.B. 8, from taking effect on Sept. 1. But the court did not issue its decision until hours after the law was implemented.

In a late-night opinion, the court ruled 5-4 against the request for an emergency injunction, partly on procedural grounds.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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