CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A federal appeals court will hear arguments over the new abortion law in Texas on Friday.
Judges at today's hearing will only hear one specific challenge to the bill and that's whether state medical licensing officials can punish doctors and nurses who perform abortions in the state after about six weeks of pregnancy.
Texas Senate Bill 8 has been in place since September and is the most restrictive abortion law in the country.
It allows private citizens to file civil lawsuits against who violates it, with penalties starting at $10,000.
According to the Texas Tribune abortion providers have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to step in and force the New Orleans-based Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to instead send the case to a federal district court.
In December, the Supreme Court declined to block the law while challenges continue in lower courts.
The Supreme Court has not yet responded to that motion. And unless it does, the appeals hearing will proceed as scheduled.