Supreme Court Does Not Act on Texas’ Near-Total Abortion Ban
Some legal scholars argued that the situation was still fluid and that abortion rights activists were overinterpreting the case.
“The case has been overhyped,” William Baude, a law professor at the University of Chicago, said on Wednesday. “The idea that unless the court acted by last night it was de facto overruling Roe v. Wade is not true.”
The challenge to the law remains pending in the lower federal courts, he said, and they are poised to sort through the complex issues in the case.
Still, abortion access has narrowed considerably across the state. At Whole Woman’s Health of Fort Worth, the last patient appointment was completed at 11:56 p.m. on Tuesday, said Marva Sadler, the organization’s senior director of clinic services. She said doctors started early on Tuesday morning and treated 117 patients, far more than usual.
Understand the Texas Abortion Law
“It was absolutely organized chaos,” said Ms. Sadler, who had come from San Antonio to help out. “Patients were waiting upward of five and six hours to have their procedures done.”
She said patients were waiting in their cars, and also in the waiting room. Some were told to come back later. On Wednesday, she said, the clinic was in uncharted waters. Of the 79 people on the schedule, she estimated that about 20 would be able to eventually complete their procedures. Many, she said, would be too far along in their pregnancies to be treated under the new law.
“People are confused,” she said. “They don’t know where to go. They don’t know what this law is.”
As the law came into force, Democrats assailed it and pledged to fight to retain abortion rights in Texas and nationwide. In a statement, President Biden said the measure “blatantly violates” the constitutional right to abortion established by Roe v. Wade.