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Lawyers for Texas Abortion Providers Expect SCOTUS to Hear Case

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Veronica Zaragovia, KUT News
Abortion rights advocates plan to take their efforts against abortion restrictions in Texas to the U.S. Supreme Court.

As of today, Texas women have less access to abortion, after a federal court decision yesterday lets restrictions on clinics go into effect. Abortion rights advocates now say they plan to ultimately take their effort to the nation’s highest court.

Right now, fewer than 10 abortion clinics remain open in Texas after the decision by the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to temporarily enforce the following provisions: 1) abortion physicians, including those in McAllen and El Paso, must have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals; 2) abortion clinics must meet the building standards of ambulatory surgical centers. The remaining clinics in Texas are in Austin, Houston, San Antonio, Dallas and Fort Worth.

"The crisis we’re seeing in Texas with 80 percent of the clinics closed is crying out for a review by the Supreme Court," says Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which has been litigating the case against provisions of the Texas law. "It's going to be a showdown that we have not seen in two decades on whether the promise of Roe v. Wade will have meaning for women in the United States."

Other legal challenges to restrictive abortion laws are underway in states that include Louisiana, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Wisconsin and Alabama.

Because federal courts of appeals have been ruling on one side and the other, it’s expected that the U.S. Supreme Court will hear one of them.

Before that happens, however, the Fifth Circuit is likely to hear oral arguments in the Texas case.

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