Texas’ Heartbeat Act has now been in effect for almost three months. At the beginning of November, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments for two cases against the law. Both the Biden justice department and a group of abortion profiteering clinics sued the state over the manner in which the law is enforced, not the actual question of abortion.
Some legal experts claimed the justices were very skeptical of the loophole of citizen enforcement, which stops the state from enforcing the law but authorizes private citizens to sue abortion providers for thousands in damages. Since the state is expressly barred from enforcing the law, according to its own language, the Supreme Court cannot enjoin the state or stop them from enforcing it. The courts also cannot enjoin 30 million Texans who may or may not sue an abortion clinic in accordance with the law.
The Supreme Court will recess for Thanksgiving this week, which led many to expect a decision before their departure. However, no decision was released on Monday with respect to the Texas law.
This means the Court may likely hear a case regarding the Mississippi 15-week abortion ban before their decision for the Texas Heartbeat Act is announced.
Pro-life groups in Texas have already claimed victory in some regards. “Texas Right to Life is encouraged by the fact that the Supreme Court has not yet ruled, leaving the Texas Heartbeat Act in effect and saving 75-100 babies from abortion per day,” said Rebecca Parma, senior legislative associate with Texas Right to Life.
Parma also commented on the anticipated decision.
“The Court seems to be giving the questions of procedure and standing in these lawsuits against the Texas Heartbeat Act a more reasonable examination than they received from the federal district court judge, which likely contributes to their silence today,” Parma added.