Friday, November 13, 2015

Supreme Court To Hear Case Over Texas Abortion Provider Restrictions

Mark Wilson / Getty Images

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court will be revisiting abortion laws this term, agreeing on Friday to take up a case out of Texas addressing restrictions on abortion providers.

The case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole, will address how far Texas can go to pass restrictions on abortion providers. Specifically at issue are two measures signed into law that require abortion facilities in Texas to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers (where outpatient surgery is performed) and require doctors who perform abortions to have admissions privileges at a nearby hospital.

Opponents of the law have argued that the law effectively shutters many of the clinics now operating in parts of the state.

In June, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the restriction. Later that month, in a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court put that ruling on hold pending the outcome of any appeal.

The court will hear the case in early 2016, with a decision expected by late June 2016.

The court took no action, however, on the other pending abortion provider restrictions law cert petition, presented in a case out of Mississippi.

The justices first considered whether to take an appeal of the Mississippi case in May, and have re-considered taking the case multiple times since then, but have taken no action on it. Given today's decision to take the Texas case, it is likely the court will just hold the Mississippi case until the decision is handed down in the Texas case.


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