The Supreme Court rejected a request to remand Texas' six-week abortion law back a federal district court Thursday, marking another setback for advocates who have been fighting to strike down the controversial measure.

Justices Sotomayor, Kagan and Breyer dissented from the decision, which returns the issue to a state court for additional procedural determinations. 

A police officer patrols in front of of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. Photographer: Emily Elconin/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A police officer patrols in front of of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. (Emily Elconin/Bloomberg via Getty Images)


The bill, known as a "heartbeat" law, has fueled the already fiery abortion debate and prompted speculation about the court's disposition towards Roe v. Wade.

Last month, the court allowed Texas' law to remain in place while maintaining a narrow legal path for abortion providers.


An anti-abortion demonstrator protests in front of the Supreme Court building on the day of hearing arguments in the Mississippi abortion rights case Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 1, 2021. (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Planned Parenthood CEO Alexis McGill Johnson derided Thursday's decision in a press release.

"Once again the Supreme Court has betrayed the people of Texas, who have been callously stripped of their constitutional right to abortion for more than four months now," she said.

"By enabling the state’s obvious ploy to delay any resolution to this case, this Court is complicit in the widespread harm to Texans who remain unable to make meaningful decisions about their own bodies. With no end in sight, people in Texas will continue to be forced to flee the state for essential health care — if they can — or to carry pregnancies against their will. That is inhumane. Planned Parenthood will continue to fight for our patients, and for all people in Texas, who deserve the dignity of being able to control their own lives and futures."

The decision comes just before the 49th annual March for Life on Friday, which includes a march ending at the Supreme Court. The event, which started with the Roe v. Wade decision, could see the end of the landmark ruling this summer.

In an interview with Fox News, March for Life President Jeanne Mancini said that even if Roe is overturned, the movement's work isn't done. Overturning Roe would return the issue to states, potentially allowing Texas even more leeway in restricting abortion.

The Justices will weigh whether to uphold a Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks and overrule the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images


Last month's ruling did not provide a final word on the constitutionality of Texas' law. Justices Amy Coney Barrett, Samuel Alito and Brett Kavanaugh backed Justice Neil Gorsuch's opinion in full.

The court allowed the Texas law to remain in effect while it heard a challenge about whether parties may bring suit against it before the state has actually taken enforcement actions consistent with the law.

Fox News' Tyler Olson and Ophelie Jacobson contributed to this report.