Supreme Court refuses to block Texas abortion ban in 5-4 decision

Abortion is now effectively banned in Texas, and the U.S. Supreme Court decided not to block the 6-week "heartbeat" law in a 5-4 decision. Roe v. Wade is not formally overturned, but it is as good as dead to the women who need abortions in America's second-most populous state and to anyone suspected of helping them—the law offers up to a $10,000 bounty to "abortion hunters" who privately sue them.

Chief Justice John Roberts and the court's three Democratic appointees, Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, dissented.

Sotomayor called the decision "stunning," saying the Texas law "flouts nearly 50 years of federal precedents."

"Presented with an application to enjoin a flagrantly unconstitutional law engineered to prohibit women from exercising their constitutional rights and evade judicial scrutiny, a majority of Justices have opted to bury their heads in the sand," she wrote.