Supreme Court Hears Texas Heartbeat Case

On November 1, 2021, the Supreme Court of the United States heard arguments in two cases challenging the Texas heartbeat law: Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson and United States v. Texas.

The arguments did not focus on the issue of abortion itself; rather, as the Heritage Foundation pointed out, the arguments dealt with “procedural issues that must be cleared up before the constitutional merits of the Texas abortion ban can even be addressed.” One issue being considered by the Court is whether a state may block federal courts from reviewing a law by allowing members of the public (instead of government) to enforce it. (The Texas heartbeat law allows private persons to enforce its terms by suing abortionists and others for money damages.) Another is whether the U.S. government has standing to challenge the Texas heartbeat law in court.

Accounts of the arguments hint that some members of the Court have concerns about the unusual structure of the heartbeat law. Opponents of the law argue that allowing the heartbeat law would encourage other states to pass laws limiting access to the courts to defend various rights under the Constitution. Supporters argue that there is no federal statute allowing the federal government to challenge the heartbeat law, and that allowing the federal government’s lawsuit to proceed would be an unacceptable violation of state sovereignty.

According to abortion industry representatives, the Teas heartbeat law has decreased abortions in Texas by half. May the Lord continue to protect the unborn children of the state of Texas.