Texas abortion ban upheld by federal appeals court

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The nation’s most restrictive abortion law remains in effect, for now.

The most restrictive abortion law in the country will remain in effect, after a federal appeals court sided with Texas on Thursday in an ongoing legal battle with the Department of Justice.

The law, known as SB8, bans physicians from providing abortions once they detect a so-called fetal heartbeat — which can be seen on an ultrasound as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.

The law, which went into effect on Sept. 1, was briefly paused after a federal judge issued a temporary injunction last week barring its enforcement. Days later, the law was reinstated after a panel of judges on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a temporary administrative stay.

In the latest development of the high-profile case, the court rejected the Justice Department’s request to again halt Texas’ ability to enforce the law. In a 2-1 order Thursday night, a panel of judges granted Texas’s request to continue to stay the preliminary injunction while it pursues its appeal.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.