Supreme Court rules to allow Texas abortion restrictions

Griffin Eckstein, News Editor

The United States Supreme Court ruled 5-4 not to stop a Texas law banning abortions after 6 weeks from going into effect. The law, which, according to Justices Roberts, Kagan, Sotomayor, and Breyer in their dissenting opinions, violates the Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade, is now one of the nation’s strictest since going into effect on September 1st. 

The Court ruled in Roe v. Wade to ensure the right to legal abortions to people in all 50 US states in 1973, and has since prevented states from instituting laws violating reproductive rights. At that time, the court argued that the right to receive an abortion was a private choice, and thus protected from government restriction. 

In this recent decision, the court rejected an application for injunction from Whole Women’s Health, a Texas-based healthcare provider, allowing Texas’s ban on abortion after 6 weeks to stand. While the majority Justices did not issue a signed opinion, dissenting Justice Sotomayor said in her opinion, that “the Act is clearly unconstitutional under existing precedents.” 

The future of abortion rights remain undecided, with the ruling stating that the court “do[es] not purport to resolve any jurisdictional or substantive claim in the applicants’ lawsuit.” In other words, while the Court allowed the law to stand on procedural grounds, they have yet to make a ruling on its constitutionality, arguing only that they cannot stop it from going into effect. 

The bill could restrict reproductive rights from as many as 85% of Texas patients, according to Sotomayor, and may inspire other states to pass legislation that challenges the precedent of Roe v. Wade.