In a vote along ideological lines, the U.S. Supreme Court voted Tuesday to allow Texas to continue enforcing abortion restrictions passed earlier this year.
The justices voted 5-4 Tuesday to leave in effect a provision requiring doctors who perform abortions in clinics to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. The restriction has been bouncing through the court system in recent months.
“While we are deeply disappointed, this isn’t over,” Planned Parenthood Federation of America president Cecile Richards said. “We will take every step we can to protect the health of Texas women. This law is blocking women in Texas from getting a safe and legal medical procedure that has been their constitutionally-protected right for 40 years. This is outrageous and unacceptable—and also demonstrates why we need stronger federal protections for women’s health. Your rights and your ability to make your own medical decisions should not depend on your zip code.”
Opponents of the restriction say it has led to more than a third of the state’s clinics to stop providing abortions. The case remains on appeal to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, which is expected to hear arguments in January. The law will remain in effect until then.
“This is good news both for the unborn and for the women of Texas, who are now better protected from shoddy abortion providers operating in dangerous conditions,” Governor Rick Perry said. “As always, Texas will continue doing everything we can to protect the culture of life in our state.”
Earlier this month, reproductive healthcare providers filed an emergency application with the U.S. Supreme Court, hoping to reinstate an injunction granted by U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel blocking the provision requiring doctors who provide abortions to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital.