U.S. Supreme Court Temporarily Blocks Texas Anti-Choice Legislation

Breaking news this afternoon as the U.S. Supreme Court decided to temporarily block an anti-choice Texas state law that would have forced nearly all of the remaining family planning clinics that offer abortion services to close. Earlier this June, a federal appeals court in Texas upheld anti-choice legislation that targeted reproductive health clinics with regulations normally reserved for large full-scale hospitals including admitting privilege requirements and a multitude of unnecessary upgrades like minimum hallway and room sizes, a quota for water fountains and parking spaces. Because smaller scale clinics do not provide the same services as hospitals and common abortion procedures do not require large scale surgery centers, most reproductive health clinics that offer the procedure do not have the space or the budget to accommodate the requirements. These forced clinic closures have already left hundreds of thousands of Texas women without access to the preventive health services that were offered by these clinics including provision of contraception, STI testing and cancer screenings.

These regulations were set to go into effect on July 1st, and could have shuttered the doors of at least half of the approximate 20 affected clinics.  The high court ruled 5-4 to block the law until a decision is made whether they will hear the full case, which will likely be decided in the fall of 2015.

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