The Supreme Court has allowed a controversial abortion ban in Texas known as the "fetal heartbeat law" to remain in effect.
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A divided Supreme Court late Wednesday denied an effort by abortion rights groups to halt a Texas law that bans women from having the procedure after six weeks of pregnancy, wading into a divisive debate hours after the prohibition had already taken effect.
The 5-4 ruling, handed down one minute before midnight, followed a daylong outcry from abortion rights groups and applause from anti-abortion advocates across the nation after the Texas prohibition took effect and several clinics said they would honor it. Similar abortion bans in other states had been quickly halted by federal courts before they took effect.
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