US supreme court agrees to hear arguments against Texas abortion law

Judges to decide whether the federal government has the right to sue over the law

The Supreme Court is allowing the Texas law that bans most abortions to remain in place but has agreed to hear arguments in the case on November 1st. Photograph: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The Supreme Court is allowing the Texas law that bans most abortions to remain in place but has agreed to hear arguments in the case on November 1st. Photograph: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

 

The US supreme court is allowing the Texas law that bans most abortions to remain in place but has agreed to hear arguments in the case on November 1st.

The justices said on Friday they will decide whether the federal government has the right to sue over the law.

The court’s action leaves in place for the time being a law that clinics say has led to an 80 per cent reduction in abortions in the nation’s second-largest state.

The law bans abortions after cardiac activity is detected, usually around six weeks of pregnancy. That is before some women even know they are pregnant.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote that she would have blocked the law now.

“The promise of future adjudication offers cold comfort, however, for Texas women seeking abortion care, who are entitled to relief now,” Ms Sotomayor wrote.

The law had been briefly banned in early October, but was reinstated just one day after clinics began racing to serve patients again for the first time since early September.

A one-page order by the 5th US court of appeals reinstated the nation’s strictest abortion law, which bans abortions once cardiac activity is detected, usually around six weeks.

The law makes no exceptions in cases of rape or incest. – AP, PA