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Photo: Spencer Platt via Getty Images

Abortion providers on Thursday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review their legal challenge to the Texas abortion ban on an expedited basis because of the "great harm the ban is causing."

Why it matters: The case is currently tied up in lower courts, but the law has already wrought damage in the 23 days since it was enacted, abortion-rights advocates say.

  • Moreover, the 5th Circuit "has set a schedule that will not allow the appeal to be heard before December," the Center for Reproductive Justice said in a statement.

What they're saying: "Texans are in crisis," the abortion providers wrote in the petition filed Thursday. "Faced with the threat of unlimited lawsuits from the general populace and the prospect of ruinous liability if they violate the ban, abortion providers have been forced to comply."

  • "As a result, Texans with means must now travel hundreds of miles each way to other States during a pandemic, just to exercise a clearly established federal right," they note, adding that the surge in out-of-state appointments is also causing backlogs.
  • "Some [Texans] are unable to travel for fear that it will reveal their pregnancy or decision to end it to an abusive partner or disapproving family member, who may retaliate," they add. "Others are non-U.S. citizens who are unable to leave the Texas-Mexico border region to travel to other States for health care."
  • "All these individuals must carry to term or seek ways to induce an abortion without medical assistance, as reports now suggest more Texans are doing," the petition states, emphasizing the need to act now.

The big picture: The Supreme Court, currently comprised of a 6-3 conservative majority, declined to block the law this summer.

  • The Justice Department is also suing Texas over the new abortion ban.
  • A Texas doctor who acknowledged that he violated the ban faces the first lawsuit under the law's controversial incentivization provision, which awards people $10,000 if they can successfully sue anyone who assists a pregnant person in obtaining an abortion after six weeks.
  • Many anti-abortion advocates, including former Vice President Mike Pence, hope to see the Supreme Court overturn abortion rights through the Texas case

Go deeper

Ohio sues Biden admin over reversal of Trump-era abortion referral ban

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost. Photo: Justin Merriman/Getty Images

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration Monday over a Trump-era ban on abortion referrals that President Biden overturned earlier this month.

The big picture: The lawsuit aims to reinstate two measures included in the 2019 legislation that required federally funded family planning clinics to be "financially independent of abortion clinics," and refrain from referring patients for abortions.

Oct 25, 2021 - Podcasts

Why Virginia's governor race is so closely watched

It’s the final week of the governor’s race in Virginia between Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin. It’s a huge test for Democrats as they try to hold onto this must-have state.

  • Plus, the Supreme Court decides to hear three abortion cases this term.
  • And, new FBI data shows how border towns are safer than other American cities.

Guests: Axios' Fadel Allassan, Oriana Gonzalez and Russell Contreras.

Credits: Axios Today is produced in partnership with Pushkin Industries. The team includes Niala Boodhoo, Sara Kehaulani Goo, Dan Bobkoff, Alexandra Botti, Nuria Marquez Martinez, Alex Sugiura, Lydia McMullen-Laird, Michael Hanf, and David Toledo. Music is composed by Evan Viola. You can reach us at podcasts@axios.com. You can text questions, comments and story ideas to Niala as a text or voice memo to 202-918-4893.

Go deeper:

3 hours ago - World

Brazil senators vote to recommend criminal charges for Bolsonaro

Brazilian senators vote on probe into President Bolsonaro's handling of pandemic. Photo: Gustavo Minas/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Brazilian Senate committee Tuesday voted to approve a report recommending President Jair Bolsonaro be charged with a raft of criminal indictments, including crimes against humanity over his response to the COVID-19 pandemic, per AP.

Why it matters: Bolsonaro has become the face of a right-wing approach to the pandemic that includes repudiating vaccines and masks and resisting lockdowns and other mitigation measures. The Senate report holds him personally responsible for half of the country's 600,000 deaths.

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