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Supreme Court Once Again Refuses To Block Texas Abortion Ban

A pro-choice protester in a Planned Parenthood shirt holds a sign saying "This is bullshit"

The Supreme Court has once again refused to block Texas’ horrible, draconian, undeniably unconstitutional abortion ban.

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After the Supreme Court refused to block the ban the last time, abortion access in Texas basically became nonexistent. Some completely BS lawsuits were filed against abortion providers who refused to stop doing their job, a judge issued a preliminary injunction to the ban that lasted about three days, and the issue went back to the notoriously terrible 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which issued a temporary stay of the injunction, meaning abortions once again had to halt in the state. (I definitely missed some steps in there but things have been a non-stop mess and that’s the basic gist of it all.)

So now we’re back looking to SCOTUS to do the right thing and block this law. And they have once again refused.

“For the second time, the court is presented with an application to enjoin a statute enacted in open disregard of the constitutional rights of women seeking abortion care in Texas,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in her dissent. “For the second time, the court declines to act immediately to protect these women from grave and irreparable harm.”

The Supreme Court has, however, agreed to hear two cases challenging the Texas law and to fast-track them, with arguments scheduled for November 1st.

Sotomayor writes in her dissent that the court is right to hear those arguments, and quickly, but that it’s not enough.

“The promise of future adjudication offers cold comfort, however, for Texas women seeking abortion care, who are entitled to relief now,” she writes. “These women will suffer personal harm from delaying their medical care, and as their pregnancies progress, they may even be unable to obtain abortion care altogether. Because every day the Court fails to grant relief is devastating, both for individual women and for our constitutional system as a whole, I dissent from the Court’s refusal to stay administratively the Fifth Circuit’s order.”

(via New York Times, image: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.

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