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USA News

US Supreme Court set to hear challenge to Texas abortion law

by Donna Birrell

The US Supreme Court is to hear a challenge by the Biden administration to the Texas six-week abortion limit on November 1st.

The law, which effectively bans abortions as soon as a heartbeat is detected, was imposed in Texas at the beginning of September.

Abortion had previously been legal in the state up to 22 weeks. The new law gives any individual the right to sue doctors for up to $10,000 if they perform an abortion past the six-week limit, although it does not allow the person having the abortion to be sued.
Since September, the conservative-majority court has twice declined to block the Texas law despite the Biden administration's Justice Department calling it 'clearly unconstitutional'. The Supreme Court has also refused to issue an injunction that would have blocked the law while the case is being heard. 

Earlier this month, thousands of pro-choice marches were held across America by people fearing a 1973 case, Roe v Wade, which legalised abortion in the US, could be overturned by the Supreme Court.

The issue of abortion has become one of the most polarising in the United States.

Supporters of the Texas law cite religious beliefs about the sanctity of life, while abortion rights activists say that restrictions rob women of control over their bodies and futures.

Experts believe that the oral arguments being heard on November 1st may provide a glimpse into how the Supreme Court will approach abortion cases in other US states.

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