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Supreme Court calls for six-week abortion ban in Texas to be blocked

A group of abortion rights advocates and providers on Monday filed an emergency petition with the Supreme Court asking justices to block the implementation of a new Texas law that bans proceedings as early as six weeks from pregnancy.

The request comes after the 5th Circuit appeals court refused to block enforcement of the law before it goes into effect on Wednesday.

The measure was enacted in May and bans abortions after detection of fetal heart activity, making it the largest state to ban procedures when many women do not know they are pregnant.

The law prohibits state officials from enforcing the ban and instead allows individuals to sue an abortion provider or anyone who may have helped someone have an after-limit abortion and seek damages- financial interest of up to $ 10,000 per defendant.

In Monday’s filing, the group said that if the law were allowed to go into effect, it would “immediately and catastrophically reduce access to abortion in Texas, preventing care for at least 85 percent of female patients who have undergone an abortion in Texas ”.

Protesters hold up signs and cheer during a protest outside the state capital of Texas on May 29, 2021 in Austin, Texas.Sergio Flores / Getty Images file

The record added that patients “who can muster resources will be forced to attempt to leave the state to obtain an abortion.” However, “the remaining Texans who require an abortion will be forced to stay pregnant against their will or to attempt to terminate their pregnancy without medical supervision.”

“In less than two days, politicians in Texas will have effectively overturned Roe v. Wade. We have filed an emergency petition with the Supreme Court to block this law before clinics are forced to turn away patients, ”Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement.

Alexis McGill Johnson, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, added in a statement: “The harm this law will cause will be insurmountable for far too many Texans, especially blacks, Latinos, Aboriginals, low-income people. and rural Texans. regions that already face significant barriers to care.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, welcomed the measure when signing the bill, saying the law “ensures that the life of every unborn child who has a heartbeat will be saved from the ravages of the world. ‘abortion’.

The case comes as judges must consider the legality of Mississippi’s ban on most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.