I praise God as I hear the news concerning the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling concerning the Texas Abortion Law appeal.
In a 5 to 4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a request by Planned Parenthood to block a ruling by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals which allows key parts of the Texas abortion law to stay in effect while the lawsuit challenging the restrictions moves forward. In a 20 page ruling, the panel of appeals court judges acknowledged that the law’s provision requiring doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital “may increase the cost of accessing an abortion provider and decrease the number of physicians available to perform abortions.”
However, the panel said the U.S. Supreme Court has held that having “the incidental effect of making it more difficult or more expensive to procure an abortion can not be enough to invalidate” the law which serves a valid purpose, “one not designed to strike at the right itself.”
At least 12 clinics in the state have had to stop performing abortions since the ruling. The Texas Attorney General’s Office said Tuesday it is “pleased” with the Supreme Court’s ruling. “These are common sense, and perfectly constitutional, regulations which further the state’s interest in protecting Texas women,” Lauren Bean said. Texas Governor Rick Perry said he was happy with the court’s conclusion. Perry said, “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.”
The appeals court panel left in place a portion of a previous judge’s order that prevents the state from enforcing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration protocol for abortion inducing drugs where the woman is between 50 and 63 days into the pregnancy. Doctors testified before the court that such women would be harmed if the protocol were enforced. That order is temporary until it can hold a complete hearing hopefully in January.
In addition to the previous issues, the law also bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and beginning in October 2014 requires doctors to perform all abortions in surgical facilities.
Officials for one chain of abortion clinics testified that they’ve tried to obtain admitting privileges for their doctors at 32 hospitals but have only been accepted at 15 and none have made a decision. Many have requirements that doctors live within a certain radius of the facility or perform a minimum number of surgeries a year which have to be performed in a hospital.