VICTORY: Supreme Court Blocks TX Abortion Restrictions; Clincs To Stay Open

Published On October 15, 2014 | By Bob Rowen |

In a 6-3 decision, the US Supreme court on Monday blocked Texas’ harsh anti-woman abortion bill from closing most of the women’s health services facilities that provide abortions in the state.

The law requiring abortion centers to make prohibitively expensive renovations to their buildings and insisting doctors have admitting privileges in nearby hospitals would have closed all but 8 facilities in the state, leaving the western half of the huge state without a single facility, none west or south of San Antonio. The bill was passed by the Republican legislature in July despite efforts by Wendy Davis, the current Democratic candidate for Governor to block it with her filibuster, which went viral as it was happening.

That same “fiscally conservatives,” GOP legislature then spent upwards of half a million dollars defending the law against challenges.  Ultimately those challenges were unsuccessful at the state level and on Oct. 2 a Federal Appeals Court issued a stay allowing the restrictive bill to take effect.

Proponents of the bill claim it safeguards women’s health by upgrading the facilities in question. But if it were permitted to proceed, the bill would have closed 42 clinics many of them never to reopen again forcing women to drive more than 150 miles to the nearest provider, often either out-of-state or in Mexico;

“If the stay entered by the Fifth Circuit is not vacated,” lawyers with the Center for Reproductive Rights told the Supreme Court, “the clinics forced to remain closed during the appeals process will likely never reopen.”

The injunction by the Supreme Court on Monday found 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” 

Arguments on the constitutionality of the law are still pending, but at this point, its implementation has been halted.

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Bob Rowen

A lifelong politics junkie with particular interests in privatization and other business and labor issues like minimum wage and immigration.Robert Rowen is also a writer of fiction.His first novel is called The Ballad of Llewellynn.

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