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Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States handed Pro-Lifers a preliminary victory today. Although the constitutionality of some provisions of House Bill 2 will still be considered in court, the Supreme Court ruled that HB2 could take effect while the court saga continues. While this ruling could eventually be reversed, in the meantime, abortion clinics will stay closed, which means that pregnant women and babies will be spared from abortion.
In a concurring opinion, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia denied Planned Parenthood’s request for an emergency order to overturn the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals' precursory decision in favor of House Bill 2. If granted, the state of Texas would not have been permitted to enforce the section of HB2 that requires abortionists to secure admitting privileges at a local hospital. This provision, which is similar to laws already in place in other states, has become the main target for the abortion giant.
In the petition to the nation’s highest court, Planned Parenthood stated, “Appointments are being cancelled, and women seeking abortions are being turned away.” The filings also claimed that 20,000 Texas women will be stopped “from accessing this constitutionally protected health care service.”
However, the Supreme Court did not find the abortion provider’s pleadings to be sound and responded,
“Reasonable minds can perhaps disagree about whether the [U.S. 5th Circuit] Court of Appeals should have granted a stay in this case. There is no doubt that the applicants have not carried their heavy burden of showing that doing so was a clear violation of accepted legal standards — which do not include a special 'status quo' standard for laws affecting abortion.”
Today’s decision marks the third court to consider the lawsuit against the new Pro-Life law. United States District Court Judge Lee Yeakel ruled that the 30-mile provision and part of the regulations of chemical abortions (RU-486) violated the U.S. Constitution. Following Yeakel’s decision, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily reinstated the law so that HB2 has been in full effect during the protracted court battle.
Elizabeth Graham, Director of Texas Right to Life responded, “This ruling signals that Texas is on the verge of a decisive legal Pro-Life victory. The recent closures of abortion clinics, even if temporary, prove that HB2 does have a major impact in protecting women and their unborn children from substandard care at abortion clinics. We celebrate the U.S. Supreme Court’s approval of the law staying in effect until this absurd legal battle is over.”
Melissa Conway, Director of External Relations