Supreme Court declines to block Texas abortion law

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A sharply and bitterly divided U.S. Supreme Court has declined to block a novel Texas law that opponents say could effectively outlaw abortion in the state.

In an order and opinions issued just before midnight Wednesday, the justices revealed that they split 5-4 in refusing the request from abortion rights advocates to put the Texas law — which went into force early Wednesday — on hold while litigation over the measure proceeds.

The court’s majority said in an unsigned order that procedural issues related to the unusual private enforcement mechanism the law sets up undermined the argument for blocking the statute at this preliminary stage.

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