Just a few weeks after the Fifth US Circuit Court said Texas can begin imposing restrictions on abortion clinics throughout the state (forcing many of them to close), the Supreme Court ruled today that they can stay open, for now at least.
The ruling essentially states that the clinics can remain operational (and don't have to comply with ridiculously written regulations for "ambulatory surgical centers) while the courts continue to decide if the law is constitutional in the first place. Via Think Progress:
Earlier this month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit allowed the stringent new law to take effect immediately. This Supreme Court injunction overrules that decision, finding that the state "may not now enforce a requirement that all clinics in the state upgrade their facilities to be hospital-like surgical centers, even when they perform abortions only through the use of drugs, not surgery," SCOTUS blog notes.
The Fifth Court's decision had suspended a ruling in August by U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel, who was not buying any of Texas' bullshit arguments that the move was about "safety" for women. According to Planned Parenthood, these measures leave a million women in the state without access to safe options for abortion, especially those living outside of major cities.
But today's SCOTUS ruling stopped those measures from being enforced immediately.Only three Supreme Court judges dissented (can you guess who they were? I bet you can). According to The New York Times, Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. would have allowed those provisions to be enforced now.
Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis (who filibustered against the the law in 2013) applauded today's decision. "The court recognized that these deeply personal decisions should be made by a woman with the guidance of her family and her doctor," she said in a statement.
"We're seeing the terrible impact these restrictions have on thousands of Texas women who effectively no longer have access to safe and legal abortion," said Cecile Richards, Planned Parenthood president. "We're relieved that the court stepped in to stop this, and we hope this dangerous law is ultimately overturned completely."
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