High Court Allows Texas Abortion Clinics To Stay Open
The Supreme Court's order, staying a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, will allow more than a dozen clinics to resume operations at least temporarily, until a legal challenge has been settled.
The New York Times: Supreme Court Allows Texas Abortion Clinics To Stay Open
The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed more than a dozen Texas abortion clinics to reopen, blocking a state law that had imposed strict requirements on abortion providers. Had the law been allowed to stand, it would have caused all but eight of the state’s abortion clinics to close and would have required many women to travel more than 150 miles to the nearest abortion provider (Liptak, 10/14).
The Washington Post: Supreme Court Blocks Texas Abortion Law
The court’s order, staying a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit that the law could go into effect, will allow more than a dozen of the clinics to resume operation, according to the group that challenged the law, the Center for Reproductive Rights. The court’s brief order did not say why it was disagreeing with the appeals court. Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. would have allowed the law to go into effect while abortion providers pursued their claims that it is unconstitutional (Barnes, 10/14).
The Wall Street Journal: Supreme Court Blocks Some Texas Abortion Restrictions
The high court’s order covered a provision in a Texas abortion law that requires clinic facilities to meet building standards for new “ambulatory surgical centers.” It also exempted clinics in El Paso and McAllen from a part of the law that requires abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. The Supreme Court order reinstated an August U.S. District Court ruling that had struck down those provisions as unconstitutional. The Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans had allowed the regulations to take effect while the state appealed the district-court ruling. The case now goes back to the Fifth Circuit for further proceeding (Bravin, 10/14).
Houston Chronicle: U.S. Supreme Court Blocks Parts Of Texas Abortion Law
The U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday evening ordered Texas to stop enforcing part of the state's strict new abortion law until a legal challenge has been settled, at least temporarily allowing more than a dozen clinics to immediately reopen. A majority of the justices agreed that abortion facilities across the state should not yet have to meet the standards of hospital-style surgical centers and that clinics in McAllen and El Paso should, for now, be exempt from a requirement that abortion doctors obtain admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. The regulations are part of House Bill 2, a sweeping abortion measure approved last summer that had forced 75 percent of the clinics in Texas to close, leaving just eight in a state of 26 million people. Supporters have argued the law protects the safety of those seeking abortions, while opponents have said the procedure is safe and the law was designed to force clinics to close (Rosenthal, 10/14).
USA Today: Supreme Court Eases Impact Of Texas Abortion Law
The court allowed most of the law to take effect, with two major exceptions. It blocked a provision that would have required clinics to meet the same construction and nursing-staff standards as ambulatory surgical centers. And it exempted abortion providers in McAllen and El Paso — remote corners of the sprawling state — from needing admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. The compromise appeared to have been endorsed by six justices, because the other three — Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito — said they would have let the entire law stand (Wolf, 10/14).
Politico: SCOTUS Impedes Texas Abortion Law
The court, in a 6-3 decision, said that Texas cannot immediately enforce the part of the law that requires the clinics to meet the standards of ambulatory surgical centers across the state. Texas argued that the upgrades were needed to protect women’s health. The abortion providers said that the requirements warranted costly upgrades that they felt were unnecessary and were aimed less at enhancing safety than limiting women’s access to abortion. The Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit on Oct. 2 had said that the provision could be enforced immediately. That led to the swift closure of more than a dozen clinics across the state (Haberkorn, 10/14).
CNN: Supreme Court Allows Texas Abortion Clinics To Reopen For Now
The Supreme Court for now has ordered Texas not to enforce a law that had effectively shut down several clinics that provide abortions. The court's order means those clinics can reopen immediately. The restrictions had gone into effect in recent days, but a number of abortion rights supporters then asked the justices to intervene on an emergency basis (Mears, 10/14).
Meanwhile, a doctor who travels long distances to perform abortions is profiled -
Los Angeles Times: Doctor Goes To Great Lengths To Keep Abortion Accessible
Dr. Carol Ball was two-thirds of the way through her morning commute when she heard the news. The first leg of her journey, a scooter ride to the Twin Cities airport, had been uneventful. Not so for the second leg — a 200-mile flight to Sioux Falls — as the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Massachusetts law keeping protesters at least 35 feet from abortion clinics. The loss of any kind of protection is a blow in Ball's line of work, and the Massachusetts case had been widely watched. But the ruling will have no direct effect on the doctor in running shoes and khakis who performs abortions far from home. Because losing protection means you have some to begin with (La Ganga, 10/14).