Friday’s request by the Biden administration to a federal judge was made to stop the nation’s most restrictive abortion legislation. The law has prohibited most abortions in Texas from early September and sent women racing for care outside the state’s borders.

After a three-hour hearing in Austin, Robert Pitman, a U.S. district judge, didn’t say when he would rule. One Texas abortion provider stated that it was ready to resume services at its clinics, even if Senate Bill 8 is temporarily withdrawn.

“Every day that S.B. 8 is in effect, we turn away patients in droves,” Amy Hagstrom Miller, president of Whole Woman’s Health, told the court. “Every day that S.B. 8 is in force, we turn patients away in droves,” Amy Hagstrom Miller of Whole Woman’s Health told the court in a filing.

Abortion providers who tried to block Texas’ law have been denied at every stage. This leaves the Biden administration with the best chance to strike down the GOP-engineered law. It has withstand a number of challenges, including one from the U.S. The law was upheld by the Supreme Court.

Texas law prohibits abortion once cardiac activity is detected. This usually happens around six weeks before most women realize they are pregnant. Incest and rape cases are not exempt. Private citizens are the only ones who can enforce this law. They are entitled to at minimum $10,000 in damages if they succeed in suing abortion providers and anyone else who helped a woman have an abortion.

“A state cannot ban abortions after six weeks. Texas knew this but wanted a six week ban. The state then used a unique scheme of vigilante justice to try to scare providers and other people who might help women exercise constitutional rights,” Brian Netter, Deputy Attorney at Justice Department, told the court.

Republican Governor Greg Abbott signed the law. Greg Abbott signed the law in May. It became effective September 1.

Abortion providers claim that is “exactly as we feared” has been realized in a very short time. Planned Parenthood claims that the number of Texas patients at its Texas clinics has decreased by nearly 80% within two weeks of the law’s implementation. Some providers describe Texas clinics as in danger of closing, while neighboring states struggle with the surge of patients that must travel hundreds of miles. Others, they claim, are being forced into carrying pregnancies until the end.

Will Thompson, who defended the law for Texas Attorney General’s Office, said that “This isn’t some kind of vigilante program.” “This scheme uses the lawful, normal process of Texas justice.”

If the Justice Department wins, Texas officials will likely request a quick reversal by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals previously permitted the restrictions to be in effect.

Hagstrom Miller explained to the court that doctors at Whole Woman’s Health Clinics gave information this week to patients who had cardiac activity information in anticipation of Pitman granting an injunction. This was to ensure they could comply with another restriction, which requires a 24-hour waiting time before performing an abortion.

She said that the hope of an injunction was “the only thing that keeps us going every day.”

Texas’s law is not the only one to test abortion rights in America in recent decades. It is part of a larger push by Republicans across the country to impose more restrictions on abortion.

The U.S. Supreme Court will begin a new term on Monday. It will also include arguments in Mississippi’s bid for a reversal of 1973’s Roe v. Wade decision, which guarantees a woman’s right and ability to have an abortion.

The court didn’t rule last month on the constitutionality or inability to allow the Texas law to continue in force. Abortion providers saw the 5-4 vote of the court as a warning sign about where it might go on abortion, after its conservative majority was strengthened by three former President Donald Trump appointees.

Planned Parenthood released Friday’s report, saying that 26 states would be primed to ban abortion if Roe V. Wade is overturned. Planned Parenthood reports that nearly 600 restrictions on abortion have been introduced in the statehouses this year, with over 90 of these becoming law.

Similar laws have been passed in other states, mostly in South America, that prohibit abortion during the first weeks of pregnancy. All of these laws have been blocked by judges. Texas’s version of the law has outstripped courts, however, because it allows enforcement to private citizens and not prosecutors. Critics claim this amounts to a bounty.

In court filings this week, Texas officials claimed that even if the law was temporarily suspended, providers still could face litigation for violations that may occur between a permanent and interim ruling.

“The complaint of the federal government is that the Heartbeat Act can be difficult to effectively enjoin,” stated the state in opposition to the lawsuit brought by the Biden administration. “But it is not required that a state writes its laws to make them easy enjoined.

At least one Texas abortion provider admitted violating the law, and has been sued. But not abortion opponents. In the hope of having the law invalidated, former attorneys in Illinois and Arkansas sued a San Antonio doctor.