Supreme Court Rules on Texas Abortion Clinics

Abortion-rights advocates say state law will close more clinics
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 29, 2015 3:20 PM CDT
Supreme Court Rules on Texas Abortion Clinics
In this Feb. 26, 2015 file photo, college students and abortion rights activists hold signs during a rally on the steps of the Texas Capitol, in Austin, Texas.    (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

The Supreme Court is refusing to allow Texas to enforce restrictions that would force about 10 abortion clinics to close. The justices voted 5-4 today to grant an emergency appeal from the clinics after a federal appeals court upheld new regulations, refusing to keep them on hold while the clinics appealed to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court order will remain in effect at least until the court decides whether to hear the clinics' appeal of the lower court ruling, not before the fall. So the clinics will remain open in the meantime, the New York Times reports.

In the decision, Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. and Justices Samuel Alito Jr., Clarence Thomas, and Antonin Scalia voted against the stay. The case involves a two-part state law that's setting regulations for abortion clinics, forcing them to match standards at "ambulatory surgical centers"; the other part requires clinic doctors who perform abortions to obtain admitting privileges at hospitals nearby. Other elements of the law kicked in two years ago, closing about half of Texas' 41 abortion clinics. Abortion-rights advocates say the number will fall by half again if the other provisions are legally approved. (More US Supreme Court stories.)

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