The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday denied efforts by Planned Parenthood to block Texas’ six-week abortion ban while the state’s highest court considers a procedural question in the case. Previously, the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled that a legal challenge against the Texas law could proceed against the state’s licensing officials, and sent the case back to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. State officials then asked the 5th Circuit to send the case to the Texas Supreme Court to rule on whether the licensing officials have the authority to actually enforce the six-week ban.
Most state abortion bans are pre-emptively blocked by federal courts due to the Supreme Court precedent prohibiting any bans on pre-viability abortions. However, the Texas law is enforced through private lawsuits from individuals – not state officials – which has effectively stopped opponents from successfully challenging the law. With the Texas ban remaining in place, unborn lives are being saved while the lawsuit proceeds.