Texas can keep saving unborn babies from abortions for the time being.
Abortion activists had hoped that Monday would be the day when the U.S. Supreme Court would issue a ruling about the Texas heartbeat law. At 10 a.m., however, the court published only one opinion for the day, an unrelated case about water rights, according to SCOTUS Blog.
That means the life-saving Texas law will remain in effect.
Twice, the Supreme Court refused to block enforcement of the unique, life-saving law, which went into effect on Sept. 1. Then, on Nov. 1, the justices heard arguments from the abortion industry and the Biden administration urging them for a third time to block the Texas law.
However, the court has not issued a ruling yet, and no one knows when the justices will.
CNN anchor Jim Sciutto predicted that the Supreme Court will not publish any more rulings until after the Thanksgiving holiday.
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“In effect, the Texas abortion law remains in effect – and with no scheduled opinion days before Thanksgiving – at least until next week,” Sciutto wrote on Twitter.
Every day that the law is in effect unborn babies are being spared from abortions. The legislation, Senate Bill 8, prohibits abortions once an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable, about six weeks of pregnancy. Pro-life leaders estimate the law is saving as many as 100 unborn babies from abortion every day.
Abortion supporters criticized the high court for the delay Monday.
“Every day that the Supreme Court leaves SB8 in effect harms the people of Texas by denying them their constitutional right to abortion care,” the pro-abortion group NARAL wrote on Twitter.
Mary Tuma, an abortion activist and writer for Vice and The Guardian, added: “No SB8 ruling from SCOTUS today, meaning the abortion ban that has devastated reproductive health care in Texas for nearly three months due to the high court’s refusal to block it in Sept. will continue to cause irreparable damage in this state and beyond.”
Texas is the first state to be allowed to enforce a heartbeat law because of a unique provision that allows private individuals to enforce the law by filing lawsuits against abortionists and others who help them abort unborn babies with beating hearts.
This unique provision and a legal technicality about the parties involved in the lawsuits are the issues that the Supreme Court currently is considering.
Here’s more from the AP:
The Supreme Court is weighing complex issues in two challenges brought by abortion providers in Texas and the Biden administration. Those issues include who, if anyone, can sue over the law in federal court, the typical route for challenges to abortion restrictions, and whom to target with a court order that ostensibly tries to block the law.
Under Supreme Court precedents, it’s not clear whether a federal court can restrain the actions of state court judges who would hear suits filed against abortion providers, court clerks who would be charged with accepting the filings or anyone who might some day want to sue.
People who sue typically have to target others who already have caused them harm, not those who might one day do so and not court officials who are just doing their jobs by docketing and adjudicating the cases.
Texas officials argue that the Supreme Court must reject the Biden administration’s request for a temporary injunction because the Texas government is not charged with enforcing the abortion ban. The law allows private citizens to enforce the law by suing abortionists and those who assist in killing unborn babies.
Typically, state governments enforce pro-life laws and, when the laws are challenged, judges can block the states from enforcing them through a temporary injunction. However, the Texas law leaves enforcement up to individual people.
Attorneys for Texas said Biden’s Department of Justice is being unfair by asking the court to block “absent third parties” from enforcing the law “without letting them be heard.”
For the 80 days that the law has been in effect, babies’ lives have been spared from abortion. While abortion activists say some women are traveling to other states for abortions, they admit that others are having their babies instead.
Texas abortion facilities reported a huge drop in abortion numbers during the first 30 days when the pro-life law was in effect, according to research from the University of Texas at Austin. Abortion facilities reported 2,164 abortions in September 2021, down from 4,313 in September 2020, according to the research. That equates to 2,149 babies’ lives.
The Texas law is saving as many as 100 babies from abortion every day and has the potential to save tens of thousands more. In 2020, about 54,000 unborn babies were aborted in Texas, and about 85 percent happened after six weeks of pregnancy, according to state health statistics.
Along with passing the heartbeat law this year, Texas state lawmakers increased support for pregnant and parenting mothers and babies, ensuring that they have resources to choose life for their babies. This included $100 million for the state Alternatives to Abortion program as well as additional funding for the Healthy Texas Women program.
Texas has more than 200 pregnancy resources centers that provide free services to mothers in need, not counting maternity homes and other resources for struggling families. Some pro-life organizations create scholarships for pregnant and parenting students, and others offer financial aid to help pay rent, childcare and medical expenses.