Heartbeat Bill Hearing

The US Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments today challenging Texas’ recently enacted fetal heartbeat bill. The justices expedited the hearing, considered one of the most high-profile abortion rights cases in recent memory, at a pace not seen since Bush v. Gore in 2000.   

The law, enacted two months ago, bans abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, generally around six weeks after conception. Exceptions are made for serious health complications to the mother. The law relies on a unique enforcement mechanism—private citizens may sue anyone believed to have aided an abortion, including providers, regardless of personal relationship.

The court previously declined a request to block the law while appeals were heard, and will hear a challenge to a 15-week Mississippi ban Dec. 1.

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