SCOTUS leaves Texas abortion law alone, opening the door for stricter abortion laws nationwide
By Jenny Goldsberry
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s abortion law, banning all abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, or about six weeks. Their decision came just before midnight Wednesday.
Ruling 5-4, all liberal judges, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Stephen Breyer but also including John Roberts were in the minority. Sotomayor railed against the “flagrantly unconstitutional law” in her opinion. It took them roughly 72 hours to rule.
“The Court’s decision is stunning,” Sotomayor wrote. “A majority of Justices have opted to bury their heads in the sand.”
But the order had nothing to do with the constitutionality of the law. “In reaching this conclusion, we stress that we do not purport to resolve definitively any jurisdictional or substantive claim in the applicants’ lawsuit. In particular, this order is not based on any conclusion about the constitutionality of Texas’s law, and in no way limits other procedurally proper challenges to the Texas law, including in Texas state courts,” the order read. The majority opted to issue an order without signatures rather than write opinions on the matter.
Abbott celebrated his law going into effect Wednesday before he even knew the ruling from the Court. “Starting today, every unborn child with a heartbeat will be protected from the ravages of abortion,” Abbott tweeted. “Texas will always defend the right to life.”
Meanwhile, the plaintiff in this case, Whole Woman’s Health, tweeted that there is still “so much to do.”
“We. Are. Not. Going. Anywhere.,” their tweet read.
Whole Woman’s Health remained open and functioning outside the new law until midnight Wednesday.
You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.