On Monday, December 27, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals announced that it will hear oral arguments in Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson , a lawsuit brought by abortionists against Texas officials concerning enforcement of that state’s Heartbeat Act , also known as SB 8.
The Heartbeat Act prohibits abortion after a preborn child’s heartbeat can be detected, and relies upon civil litigation against abortionists who defy the law as its enforcement mechanism. It has been estimated that approximately 100 lives are being saved every day as a result of the law, which has caused many abortionists to quit working in Texas. The law has remained in place for 121 days.
In its announcement of oral arguments in this case, the Fifth Circuit emphasized “that by scheduling and hearing oral arguments, there is no intent to prejudge the merits of the motion or response,” and stated that it was “particularly interested in questions concerning justiciability as to the defendants remaining in this suit, and the necessity and appropriateness of certification to the Texas Supreme Court.”