In this Feb. 25, 2016, file photo, in honor of Justice Antonin Scalia, a flag in the Supreme Court building's front plaza flies at half-staff in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
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The U.S. Supreme Court was set to hear its first abortion rights case in nearly a decade Wednesday as it weighs a Texas law that the state contends protects a woman's health but abortion providers assert is aimed at shutting down their clinics.The court potentially could split 4-4, with its four liberal justices opposing the abortion restrictions and its four conservatives backing the regulations, an action that would let stand a lower-court ruling that affirmed the Texas law but would not set a nationwide legal precedent.Texas now has 19 abortion clinics, down from 41 just before the law passed.The Supreme Court's last major abortion ruling was in 2007 when it upheld a federal law banning a late-term abortion procedure.
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