U.S. News


Supreme Court Won't Block Texas Abortion Restrictions

By a 5-4 vote, the court let stand restrictions that critics say will end abortion services at a third of the state\'s clinics.
Posted at 9:49 PM, Nov 19, 2013

The U.S. Supreme Court chose not to block controversial new abortion restrictions in Texas Tuesday.

Justice Antonin Scalia said there’s no reason the Supreme Court should override a lower court's decision to let the policies go into effect. Four of the nine justices dissented. (Via CNN)

The new restrictions were the subject of Wendy Davis’ well-known filibuster in the Texas Senate, along with a series of public protests and demonstrations, and now a back-and-forth between the courts. In late October, a federal judge declared the restrictions unconstitutional. (Via The Texas TribuneCBS)

That was overturned by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, allowing Texas to move forward with the policies. (Via Los Angeles Times)

Critics, including Planned Parenthood, have long said these restrictions would drop abortion services from one-third of the state’s clinics. They include:

- a requirement that clinic doctors have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital

- a ban on abortion after 20 weeks (Via KEYE)

Planned Parenthood said this month it would have to halt abortion services in Austin, Lubbock, Waco and Fort Worth due to the new policies. (Via Google)

It was that same organization that asked the Supreme Court to block the restrictions, arguing they infringed on women’s constitutional right to safe and accessible abortion services. The policies are still under review by the 5th Circuit Court, meaning the courts might have more to say on this issue.