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SCOTUS Halts Enactment of Texas Abortion Law

texas flagsThe Supreme Court issued a 5-4 ruling yesterday to grant an emergency appeal from Texas abortion clinics to halt the enactment of new regulations that would have closed most of the clinics in that state.

The Associated Press is reporting on the ruling which will temporarily halt enactment of the law that will force abortion clinics to meet the same safety standards as other ambulatory clinics in the state. The order will remain in effect until the court decides whether or not they will hear the clinic’s appeal of the lower court ruling in favor of the law.

Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas sided with the state while Justice Kennedy joined the liberal wing of the court to rule in favor of temporarily halting the regulations until they decide whether or not to hear the full appeal.

At issue are regulations requiring abortion facilities to be constructed like surgical centers. Doctors at all clinics would also be required to have admitting privileges at a local hospital.

Pro-abortion forces say the regulations place an undue burden on women’s ability to access abortion.

Court watchers say the high court’s decision to block the regulations is a strong indication that the justices will hear the full appear which could be the biggest abortion case at the Supreme Court in nearly 25 years.

Americans United for Life (AUL) President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest says the abortion industry is “a largely under-monitored, under-supervised, and secretive industry that tells women ‘trust but don’t verify that our clinics are clean and safe.’ No longer should women be abandoned to self-serving and false assurances from an industry that puts profits over people.”

AUL, which filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case, says the court’s review of the case could dramatically change America’s abortion landscape and protect thousands of women who are being served in unsanitary clinics which are not being properly inspected.

If the Supreme Court does take on the case, it would be the first time it has ruled on the constitutionality of comprehensive health and safety standards for abortion facilities.

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