HOUSTON — In just days, Texas' abortion ban is heading to the Supreme Court. The justices will tackle two challenges to SB 8 and what they decide could have a major impact on millions of Texas women.
Under SB 8, abortions have virtually come to a stop in the state.
"Texas has already seen the impact of SB 8," said Dr. Nancy Binford.
Texas OB-GYN's are speaking out ahead of those oral arguments in D.C. The controversial law effectively bans abortions after six weeks, at a time before most women even know they're pregnant.
"No one is providing abortions in Texas right now," said Binford.
That's because the law puts enforcement power into the hands of private citizens, not state officials. Doctors say it has had a chilling effect.
"Anybody can sue you. It's really a ridiculously written law and it's all done to get around national laws," said Dr. Jane Stafford.
Abortion providers and the Department of Justice argue SB 8 is unconstitutional.
But so far it's worked. Texas women have had to travel out of state for their procedures. A new study from University of Texas Austin researchers found abortions in Texas were down 50% in September 2021 compared to September 2020.
That is cause for celebration among pro-life advocates.
"This is the biggest step the pro-life community has been able to take since Roe v. Wade in 1973," said Kim Schwartz with Texas Right to Life.
If the Supreme Court allows the law to stand legal experts say it will offer a road map for other states seeking to limit abortion rights.
Doctors worry about the future of their patients.
"It would spell disaster for the well-being of women," said Stafford.
The rule on SB 8 will be significant. But in just a few weeks in December, the Supreme Court will take up another abortion case, this time from the state of Mississippi. That case has the potential to eradicate abortion rights across the country.
Stay with KHOU 11 News for coverage of SB 8 at the Supreme Court. Reporter Marcelino Benito will be in Washington D.C. for the oral arguments. You can follow him on Twitter for the latest updates.