Texas Abortion Clinics Can Remain Open Thanks to Supreme Court Intervention

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AUSTIN, TX - JULY 01: Supporters of Texas women's right to reproductive decisions rally at the Texas State capitol on July 1, 2013 in Austin, Texas. This is first day of a second legislative special session called by Texas Gov. Rick Perry to pass an restrictive abortion law through the Texas legislature. The first attempt was defeated after opponents of the law were able to stall the vote until after first special session had ended.
Photo: Erich Schlegel/Getty Images

The Supreme Court has blocked parts of a 2013 Texas law that would have closed all but eight abortion clinics in the state, with none operating west or south of San Antonio. The Supreme Court’s order put a hold on a federal appeals court ruling earlier this month that allowed the law to go into effect immediately.

The high court’s ruling, which was five sentences long and offered no explanation, blocked the requirement that abortion clinics meet the standards of ambulatory surgical centers. A provision that required doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital was also blocked, but only for clinics in McAllen and El Paso.

Tomorrow, 13 clinics across the state will be allowed to reopen and provide women with safe and legal abortion care in their own communities,” said Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights. The law is still being debated in court, or as Northup put it, “This fight against Texas’s sham abortion law is not over.”