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SCOTUS puts HB2 back on hold

Good. For now, anyway.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday sided with Texas abortion providers and temporarily put on hold a ruling that would have closed about half of the state’s abortion facilities.

There were 19 abortion providers performing the procedure in Texas as of earlier this month.

Abortion restrictions passed by the Texas Legislature in 2013 — and set to go into effect Wednesday — would have required Texas’ abortion facilities to meet hospital-like standards, including minimum sizes for rooms and doorways, pipelines for anesthesia and other infrastructure. Only a handful of Texas abortion clinics — all in major metropolitan areas — meet those standards.


“The justices have preserved Texas women’s few remaining options for safe and legal abortion care for the moment,” said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which brought the lawsuit on behalf of Texas abortion providers. “Now it’s time to put a stop to these clinic shutdown laws once and for all.”

The Texas attorney general’s office, which is representing the state in court, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The high court voted 5-4 to put the ruling on hold, with Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito voting against the delay.

See here and here for the background. It sure has been a consequential few days for SCOTUS, hasn’t it? The good news is that this awful law is still not being enforced. The bad news, as dKos points out, is that it means SCOTUS will hear the case in the fall, thus opening a big ol’ can of worms that may or may not ever get re-canned. But it’s where we are, and it’s the only hope we’ve got. Let’s pray that Justice Kennedy is having a good day when the arguments are held. Trail Blazers, Hair Balls, RH Reality Check, the Observer, the Current, BOR, and Newsdesk have more.

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  1. […] here for the background. Reopening a clinic that had been closed would require money, hiring or rehiring […]