Abortion In Texas
10:53 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Supreme Court Refuses To Block Texas Abortion Law By Narrow Margin

The U.S. Supreme Court is siding with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decision that allows Texas abortion law to remain in effect while awaiting a trial.

Planned Parenthood of American asked Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia to review the Fifth Circuit Court ruling that allowed the law to remain in effect while awaiting trial.

"It’s another great victory for life. I had no doubt -- and I had predicted -- that this Fifth Circuit Court decision support of our pro-life bill would stand," said state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, who authored one of the components of the law that is being challenged.

Patrick remains confident that the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals will rule in the state's favor:

"That's what happened when the court considered my sonogram bill two years ago and I believe this group of conservative judges will do the same in this case," Patrick said.

Scalia referred the emergency challenge to the full court who ruled on a vote of 5-4 to not block an order that requires all doctors performing abortions to have hospital admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles.

American Civil Liberties Union general counsel Brigitte Amiri said yesterday's decision isn’t a prediction of what’s to come.

"I don’t think it predisposes the issue if we were to petition for [a writ of] certiorari if we were to lose in the Fifth Circuit," Amiri said. "The standard of this emergency relief that we are asking for is a pretty high bar."

As it stands, clinics performing abortions will have to adhere to the law requiring doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital.

Abortion-rights groups say this will ultimately close one-third of the clinics in Texas, leaving regions like South Texas without access to women’s healthcare. The Fifth Circuit Court will begin hearing oral arguments in January 2014.