The law, if it is allowed to continue in force, would be the most severe restriction on abortion rights in America since 1973 when abortion was legalized in all 50 states by the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling.
Republican Governor Greg Abbott signed the Texas law. Greg Abbott signed the Texas law in May. It would ban abortions after a fetal beat can be detected. This is usually six weeks before most women know they are pregnant.
The Supreme Court is being asked by abortion providers to intervene. They claim that the law will ban 85% of Texas abortions and close many clinics. Planned Parenthood is one of the abortion providers who have stopped scheduling abortions after six weeks.
Twelve other states have also passed bans on abortion in early pregnancy. However, none of them have been able to go into effect.
The unique enforcement system that Texas has is what makes it different. Private citizens have the right to sue anyone who facilitates abortions and abortion providers, rather than having officials enforce the law. This includes anyone who drives a woman into a clinic for an abortion. Anyone who sues someone else would be entitled at minimum $10,000.
It was also difficult for abortion opponents to challenge the law in court. This is partly because it's hard knowing who to sue.
Texas has had some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country for a long time. The Supreme Court struck down a 2013 law that was sweeping, but before half of Texas's 40 abortion clinics were closed.
In Texas, lawmakers are also moving forward with new restrictions on medication abortion. This method of using pills accounts for approximately 40% of all abortions in the U.S.