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Texas’ 6-week abortion ban takes effect with no Supreme Court intervention

September 1, 2021

The U.S. Supreme Court failed to take action on an emergency application to block Texas’ near-total ban on abortions, allowing the most restrictive abortion law in the country to go into effect Wednesday.

The Texas law, known as SB 8, prevents abortions after a doctor detects a fetal heartbeat, typically at about six weeks of pregnancy. It contains an exception only for medical emergencies but not for rape or incest.

As part of the law, private citizens inside or outside Texas can sue abortion providers and anyone else who helps a woman obtain an abortion and potentially be awarded at least $10,000 per illegal abortion if they are successful.

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