[JURIST] The US Supreme Court Monday lifted [PDF order] a temporary stay [JURIST report] issued late Friday that blocked a lower court order allowing prison officials in Missouri to transport a pregnant inmate to a medical facility for an abortion. Justice Clarence Thomas had issued the stay pending a decision by the full Court, which unanimously refused Missouri's request to stay the lower court order, a step allowing the inmate, now in her 17th week of pregnancy, to receive the procedure. Missouri officials had refused to arrange for an abortion that was not medically necessary, but US Chief District Judge Dean Whipple ruled last week [St. Louis Post-Dispatch report] that prison officials were blocking the inmate's right to an abortion. Monday's ruling is the Supreme Court's first on abortion since John Roberts Jr. was sworn in as Chief Justice in late September. During his confirmation hearings Roberts ducked most questions about his views on abortion and Roe v. Wade, but he did emphasize his respect for stare decisis [JURIST report]. AP has more. SCOTUSblog has additional coverage.
4:41 PM ET - The Court's order [PDF] is now available.