"Whether Texas will ultimately win is hard to say, but the restrictions Texas has adopted are ones that might have a chance of being upheld on the basis that they don't explicitly prohibit abortion. They impose a lot of restrictions and regulations that a fair number of abortion clinics can't satisfy," Entin said.
And the law's supporters believe the Court will land on their side.
"For those in the public square who say we shouldn't regulate abortion — they're dead wrong," said Ovid Lamontague, general counsel of Americans United for Life, a law and policy organization that worked on parts of the Texas legislation. "As current law exists, states have the ability — and I would say the duty — to regulate abortion."
Presently, states have taken varying approaches to restricting abortion, with varying results in the courts. The result is a patchwork of inconsistent rules across the country: If a lower court strikes down or upholds a particular state's restrictions, the result is only binding within that court's jurisdiction.
But if the Supreme Court puts its stamp of approval on Texas' regulations — or any others — it would offer a road map of legally sound abortion restrictions that governors and state legislatures could adopt with little fear of seeing their laws overturned by the legal system.
Proposals similar to Texas's legislation have passed or are being considered in other states, including Alabama, Wisconsin, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Missouri. And even more states — Arizona, Indiana, and North Dakota, among them — have passed measures cracking down on abortion in other ways. Some of those efforts are tied up in legal battles, but the states' decision to pursue them signals that they might be among the first to take up their own versions of Texas' restrictions.
Nevertheless, abortion-right advocates will continue to press through the legal system.
A District Court ruled that most of Texas's law is largely constitutional, balking only at the provision requiring providers to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. Abortion-rights advocates have since appealed the case to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, from whom all parties are still awaiting a ruling. But the Appeals Court already rejected abortion-rights groups' plea to block the law from taking effect during the legal battle, a decisions that is seen as a sign that it will likely uphold the restrictions.
And if the 5th Circuit does rule in favor of the law as expected, that's when abortion-rights supporters are expected to appeal to the Supreme Court.
They've already tried their luck with the Court once, asking it to block the law from taking effect. The Court declined that request, but Justice Stephen Breyer — one of the Court's liberals — indicated that the justices would be open to considering the merits of the Texas law.
"The underlying legal question — whether the new Texas statute is constitutional — is a difficult question," Breyer wrote. "It is a question, I believe, that at least four members of this court will wish to consider, irrespective of the Fifth Circuit's ultimate decision."