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The Supreme Court on Monday put a stop to parts of Texas’ anti-abortion law, which would have closed all but nine abortion clinics in the state.

This temporary stay means that if the court refuses to hear the case, the stay will be lifted and the law will take effect. If the case is heard, the stay will remain in effect until a ruling is issued.

The New York Times reports on the move:

The vote was 5 to 4, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. voting to deny the stay.

The case concerns two parts of a state law that imposes strict requirements on abortion providers. One requires all abortion clinics in the state to meet the standards for “ambulatory surgical centers,” including regulations concerning buildings, equipment and staffing. The other requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

Other parts of the law took effect in 2013, causing about half of the state’s 41 abortion clinics to close. If the contested provisions take effect, abortion rights advocates said, the number of clinics will again be halved.

“This would amount to a more than 75 percent reduction in Texas abortion facilities in just a two-year period, creating a severe shortage of safe and legal abortion services in a state that is home to more than five million reproductive-age women,” lawyers for abortion providers told the justices in an emergency application for a stay.

The article can be read here.

–Posted by Roisin Davis

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