Tags: Supreme Court | abortion | Texas | Supreme Court | abortion clinics | emergency application

Abortion Rights Group Asks Supreme Court to Block Texas Law

By    |   Tuesday, 07 Oct 2014 12:59 PM

The Center for Reproductive Rights on Monday filed an emergency application with the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate an injunction, granted in August by a lower federal court, which blocked Texas from enforcing restrictions on access to abortion.

In its application, the center argued that "no credible evidence suggests that the challenged requirements would enhance the safety of abortion procedures."

The application comes in response to a ruling last week by a U.S. 5th Circuit Court panel in New Orleans that stayed an Aug. 29 injunction, issued by U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel, which blocked provisions of a controversial Texas law.

Passed in 2013 by the Texas state Legislature, the law, HB2, requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at local hospitals.

Foes of the Texas law contend that provisions requiring doctors who perform abortions to obtain hospital admitting privileges have resulted in clinic closures across the state.

According to the Dallas Morning News, only seven clinics in Texas can meet those requirements, while proponents argue the law does not restrict access because nearly nine in 10 women live within 150 miles of an abortion provider.

"There can be no question that just a handful of clinics left to offer safe, legal abortion care to all women across the vast state of Texas is a dire emergency in need of an immediate response," said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights in a statement.

The application was filed with Justice Antonin Scalia, who has asked for state officials to respond by noon on Thursday, according to Scotusblog.

The court declined to hear a request to block portions of Texas' law last session, but the justices could decide to hear it or other abortion-related cases, including an Arizona law restricting use of abortion-inducing drugs.

In September, Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne appealed to the Supreme Court after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals placed a hold on a state law banning the use of RU-486, a drug which induces abortion, after the seventh week of pregnancy, reports The Arizona Republic.

"Admitting privileges seems to be the issue with the most energy behind it," Ovide Lamontagne, general counsel for Americans United for Life, told The State Column. "Since Roe v. Wade, the court has recognized the state’s interest in regulating medical practices."

However, Paul Clement, a former solicitor general for President George W. Bush, indicated during a Heritage Foundation event previewing the new term that there "have only been a couple abortion cases in the last decade," and "I don’t see a sort of appetite to reach out and take those cases," reports Politico.

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The Center for Reproductive Rights on Monday filed an emergency application with the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate an injunction, granted in August by a lower federal court, which blocked Texas from enforcing restrictions on access to abortion.
abortion, Texas, Supreme Court, abortion clinics, emergency application
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2014-59-07
Tuesday, 07 Oct 2014 12:59 PM
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