The Supreme Court has issued an unsigned order blocking key provisions of sweeping new health care regulations from being enforced against Texas abortion providers.
Via Fox News:
In an unsigned order, the justices sided with abortion rights advocates and health care providers in suspending an Oct. 2 ruling by a panel of the New Orleans-based U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals that Texas could immediately apply a rule making abortion clinics statewide spend millions of dollars on hospital-level upgrades.
The court also put on hold a separate provision of the law only as it applies to clinics in McAllen and El Paso that requires doctors at the facilities to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. The admitting privileges remains in effect elsewhere in Texas.
Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas said they would have ruled against the clinics in all respects.
This decision temporarily set aside provisions that require abortion clinics to follow the same health and safety standards as ambulatory surgical centers; this means thirteen abortion clinics that closed after the law took effect will be allowed to reopen. It also exempted practitioners operating clinics in El Paso and McAllen (larger cities in the Rio Grande Valley) from having to gain admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.
Pro-choice organizations are, of course, gloating; but keep in mind that this was an emergency ruling. Advocates for abortion providers asked for the Supreme Court’s ruling because the Fifth Circuit allowed the restrictive new laws to be enforced during the appeals process.
This isn’t the end of the world, but it is an unfortunate pause in Texas lawmakers’ efforts to preserve the sanctity of life.
The order in full:
The application to vacate stay of final judgment pending appeal presented to Justice Scalia and by him referred to the court is granted in part and denied in part. The Court of Appeals’ stay order with reference to the district court’s order enjoining the admitting-privileges requirement as applied to the McAllen and El Paso clinics is vacated. The Court of Appeals’ stay order with reference to the district court’s order enjoining the ambulatory surgical center requirement is vacated. The application is denied in all other respects.
Justice Scalia, Justice Thomas, and Justice Alito would deny the application in its entirety.
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.