Oct 15, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Appeals court denies DOJ's request to suspend Texas abortion ban

People protesting Texas' abortion ban outside of the Texas State Capitol in Austin on Oct. 2.
People protesting Texas' abortion ban outside of the Texas State Capitol in Austin on Oct. 2. Photo: Montinique Monroe/Getty Images

A three-judge panel for the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday denied the Department of Justice's emergency request to suspend Texas' abortion ban, which bars the procedure after a fetal heartbeat is detected, or roughly six weeks — before many people know they are pregnant.

Why it matters: The ruling allows the ban to continue to be enforced as the courts consider the law's constitutionality. It's one of the most restrictive bans to be enforced since the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion nationwide in 1973.

The big picture: The Supreme Court, which allowed the law to go into effect in September, has not yet ruled on the constitutionality of the law.

  • The Justice Department can now appeal the 5th Circuit's denial to the Supreme Court.

Go deeper: The vanishing access to abortion providers

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