The 13 clinics put in danger by the 5th circuits recent ruling will be allowed to stay open.
In an injunction filed Tuesday night, the Supreme Court blocked part of Texas’ harsh abortion clinic restrictions, allowing 13 clinics to stay open, in spite of the Fifth Circuit Court decision to uphold the law. Had the decision been allowed to remain in effect, there would be only seven clinics left in the state, with an eighth planning to open in the near future.
The application to vacate stay of final judgment pending appeal presented to Justice Scalia and by him referred to the court is granted in part and denied in part. The Court of Appeals’ stay order with reference to the district court’s order enjoining the admitting-privileges requirement as applied to McAllen and El Paso clinics is vacated. The Court of Appeals’ stay order with reference to the district court’s order enjoining the ambulatory surgical center requirement is vacated. The application is denied in all other respects.
Justice Scalia, Justice Thomas, and Justice Alito would deny the application in its entirety.
The restrictions Texas wants to impose are requiring abortion clinics to make a ton of expensive building repairs alá ambulatory surgical centers, and also requiring doctors at these clinics to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles.
While this might sound reasonable if one doesn’t think too hard about it, the fact remains that you do not actually need your doctor to have “admitting privileges” in order to go to a hospital. If an emergency happens, you just go to the hospital emergency room, and they are required to care for you regardless of who your doctor is, whether or not you have even seen a doctor in the last 15 years, the reason you are there, and, indeed, whether or not you have insurance. In practice, a doctor having “admitting privileges” means pretty much nothing–but many hospitals, particularly in Texas, will not issue them to doctors performing abortions for fear of retribution from conservative donors and lobbyists.
The purpose of the restrictions is therefore not to protect women’s health and safety, as Rick Perry, Greg Abbott and others have so disingenuously insisted–but to prevent women from being able to get abortions in the first place. These restrictions also disproportionately affect women of limited means who may not have the ability to travel for a day in order to have an abortion.
SCOTUSblog reports that the injunction will remain in place until the Fifth Circuit “rules on a constitutional challenge to the two measures.”
Source: Robyn Pennacchia for Death & Taxes