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Supreme Court refuses to block restrictive Texas abortion law in 5-4 decision

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People walk past the U.S. Supreme Court the day the court is set to release orders and opinions in Washington, June 1, 2021.

Erin Scott | Reuters

The Supreme Court declined to block a Texas law banning most abortions in a 5-4 decision late Wednesday.

Chief Justice John Roberts and the court’s three Democratic appointees, Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, dissented.

The “heartbeat” law took effect after midnight in Texas on Wednesday. It bars most abortions after as early as six weeks of pregnancy — when many women still have yet to discover they are pregnant — and allows private citizens to file civil lawsuits against abortion providers.

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