A deeply divided Supreme Court has upheld a Texas law that prohibits most abortions, depriving most women in the country’s second-largest state of their access to an abortion. The Supreme Court voted 5-4 on Thursday morning to dismiss an emergency appeal filed by abortion doctors and others seeking to stop the law from taking effect on Wednesday.
The ACLU, Planned Parenthood, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and other organizations filed an emergency plea with the Supreme Court on Monday, requesting that the Texas law be stopped from taking effect. It comes after US President Joe Biden claimed the Texas bill contradicted the Supreme Court’s landmark Roe V. Wade ruling in 1973, which established the right to abortion access. Earlier on Wednesday, President Joe Biden condemned the law, calling it “extreme” and warning that it would “seriously harm” women’s access to health care. In a statement, Biden said, “My administration is deeply committed to the constitutional right established in Roe V. Wade nearly five decades ago and will maintain and defend that right. ” In an unsigned explanation, the majority of the court stated that its decision “was not based on any conclusion about the constitutionality of Texas law” and stated that legal challenges may still continue.
The three members of the Supreme Court-appointed by former President Donald Trump voted against blocking the ban. In a dissenting opinion, liberal magistrate Sonia Sotomayor wrote that the court order was “shocking.”
“In calling for the banning of a blatantly unconstitutional law designed to prohibit women from exercising constitutional rights and evading judicial review, most judges chose to bury their heads in the sand,” she said.
Other Democrats also expressed anger. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the Supreme Court “direct assault on the rights of women,” while New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said it was a “direct attack” on rights of women across the country. It needs “national mobilization” to fight it. Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and other organizations have asked the Supreme Court to block the legislation and said they would not abandon the fight.
The strongest anti-abortion law in the United States, known as the “Texas Heartbeat Act,” will immediately take effect.