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Supreme Court Decision on Texas Heartbeat Law Could Come This Week

11-21-2021
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The Supreme Court is seen on the first day of the new term, in Washington, Monday, Oct. 4, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Aborting a baby with a heartbeat is currently a crime in the state of Texas, but many are wondering when the Supreme Court will issue a final ruling on the law. 

It's been nearly three weeks since the High Court heard oral arguments in two legal challenges against the "Heartbeat" Act which prohibits abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected.

Senate Bill 8 (SB 8) bans most abortions in the state because the fetal heartbeat is detected around the six-week mark and before most women even know they are pregnant. 

The Supreme Court justices seemed as though they wanted to rule on the measure quickly when they accelerated the case last month, setting oral briefings for Nov. 1.

Speculation began to circulate on Friday that the court will finally pass a resolution on Monday.

CNN's lead Supreme Court analyst, Steve Vladeck tweeted on Friday, "#SCOTUS set to issue one or more opinions on Monday. There is no *guarantee* that we'll get the rulings in the #SB8 cases, but it sure is *likely* that we will."

The unique element of this bill is that private citizens can sue anyone who helps someone facilitate an illegal abortion. They can also be compensated up to $10,000. 

"Every single day that SB8 is in effect in Texas is a travesty and an injustice for Texans who need abortion care," said Caroline Duble with the abortion rights advocacy organization Avow. "We are frustrated that the court is taking so long, and we have been frustrated with the way that they've handled this law since the first time it appeared before them."

Pro-life groups however say SB 8 is expected to save 150 babies from being killed each day.

"We're encouraged by the Supreme Court's judicial restraint," said Kimberlyn Schwartz, director of media and communication for Texas Right to Life. 

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Have you have had an abortion, are contemplating ending your pregnancy, or would like pregnancy-related resources, please click here.

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