A federal appeals court on Friday rejected a request from Texas abortion providers to temporarily put on hold a ruling that could leave Texas with nine abortion facilities.
Abortion providers had asked the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to delay its own ruling upholding most provisions of House Bill 2 — including requiring nearly all of Texas’ abortion facilities that perform the procedure to meet hospital-like standards — while they take their case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Attorneys with the Center for Reproductive Rights, which brought the lawsuit, said they will now turn to the U.S. Supreme Court and ask it to delay the law’s implementation while they pursue their appeal.
Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the center, said it was “imperative” that the Supreme Court intervene in the case.
“No woman should be forced to cross state lines or travel hundreds of miles for essential health care,” Northup said. “And millions of Texas women cannot simply wait for months as this legal battle continues, with severely restricted options for safe and legal abortion services in the state.”
Immediately after the three-judge panel upheld the strict abortion restrictions, abortions providers vowed to take the lawsuit to the Supreme Court. The next day, the abortion providers’ lawyers asked the appellate court to keep their ruling from going into effect on July 1 while they appealed to the high court.
The abortion providers argued that the Supreme Court is likely to take up the case and there is a “significant possibility” the high court could reverse the appellate court’s ruling.
In their petition, they pointed to the Supreme Court’s previous intervention in the abortion lawsuit. It temporarily put on hold the ASC provision in October after the appeals court ruled it could go into effect as the lawsuit made its way through the appeals process.
See here and here for the background. As noted, SCOTUS allowed the injunction to remain in place pending the outcome of the appeals process last time, so I don’t see why they wouldn’t this time unless they just don’t plan to hear this appeal. Given the recent appellate split on abortion cases, it seems they’re going to have to wade in sooner or later. Not that this is a prospect I relish, mind you, but it is what it is. And the Fifth Circuit still sucks.