Texas abortion providers have requested that the U.S. Supreme Court fast-track an appeal over the state’s newly implemented restrictions on the procedure.
While it is unclear whether the Supreme Court will quickly hear the case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson, justices previously allowed the law to be enforced while litigation efforts were ongoing.
The law, known as the “Texas Heartbeat Act,” prohibits abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as six weeks into a pregnancy – when many women are not yet aware that they are pregnant.
Abortion rights groups in the state have requested oral arguments in December, around the same time the court will hear an appeal challenging a Mississippi law banning most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
The Supreme Court has given the defendants in the case until Oct. 28 to provide a written brief with their views. The justices will then meet in a closed-door conference and determine whether or not to accept the petition for full review and include it on their docket, and whether it should be fast-tracked. The justices will also determine at that time whether or not oral arguments will be heard regarding the case in December, as requested by the abortion providers.
According to those making the requests of the Supreme Court, this is a time-sensitive issue because women are being denied abortions under the new law.
The Heartbeat Act was signed into law on May 19 by Gov. Greg Abbott and does not criminalize abortion, but any individual other than government employees may bring a civil claim against an alleged violator. If that person wins, the law calls for the court to award them a minimum of $10,000 per abortion.
Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer, Bill Mears and Shannon Bream contributed to this article.
Kyle Morris covers politics for Fox News and is a graduate of the University of Alabama. Follow him on Twitter: @RealKyleMorris