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The US Supreme Court will allow Texas to maintain a near-total ban on abortions, but will take up the case next month in a rare sped up process.

The law, known as SB8, gives any person the right to sue doctors who perform an abortion past six-weeks – before most women know they are pregnant.

The Supreme Court said it will focus on how the law was crafted and whether it can be legally challenged.

It is considered extraordinarily rare for the top US court to expedite cases.

The controversial law – which makes an exception for a documented medical emergency but not for cases of rape or incest – bans abortion after what anti-abortion campaigners refer to as a foetal heartbeat. The notion is disputed by medical authorities.

It is enforced by giving any individual – from Texas or elsewhere – the right to sue doctors who perform an abortion past the six-week point. However, it does not allow the women who get the procedure to be sued.

Oral arguments in the case have been set for 1 November. The Supreme Court said that it would wait for those arguments to take place before taking any action.

The Biden administration have previously said it would ask the court to block the law. Since 1973's landmark Roe v Wade Supreme Court case, US women have had a right to abortions until a foetus is able to survive outside the womb – usually between 22 and 24 weeks into pregnancy.

In a written dissent, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor said that the expedited timeframe would offer "cold comfort" for women in Texas who are hoping for abortion treatment.

She was the only one of the Supreme Court's nine judges to advocate blocking the law in the short-term.

"Women seeking abortion care in Texas are entitled to relief from this court now," she wrote. "Because of the court's failure to act today, that relief, if it comes, will be too late for many."

The law came into effect in Texas on 1 September.

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Abortion providers and opponents of the law had called for it to be lifted until the Supreme Court took up the case.

Whole Woman's Health, which operates four clinics in Texas, tweeted that "the legal limbo is excruciating for both patients and our clinic staff".

Experts believe that the oral arguments may provide a glimpse into how the Supreme Court will approach other abortion cases.

In December, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a separate case regarding a Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks.