A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

Texas urges Supreme Court to allow abortion law to remain in effect

Texas officials on Tuesday filed a brief [text, PDF] with US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia [official profile] in response to a challenge to the state's new restrictive abortion law [HB 2]. Last week, abortion rights groups such as Planned Parenthood [advocacy website] filed an emergency request asking the Supreme Court to reinstate a previous injunction [JURIST reports] blocking HB 2. The disputed restriction requires that doctors performing abortions must have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the facility. In its brief, Texas defended the admitting privileges requirement, saying that it would promote women's health by "fostering a woman's ability to seek consultation and treatment for complications directly from her physician." Two weeks ago the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit [official website] lifted the injunction [JURIST report], and the law was allowed to take effect immediately.

This is the latest development in the ongoing reproductive rights controversy [JURIST backgrounder] in the US. The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] ruled [JURIST report] in August against an Arizona law [HB 2800, PDF] that disqualified health providers that perform abortions, such as Planned Parenthood, from receiving public funds. Also in August Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky (PPINK) [advocacy website] sued [JURIST report] the Indiana State Department of Health [official website] challenging a new regulation [text] that defined facilities prescribing Mifepristone as abortion clinics and required them meet regulatory requirements of surgical facilities, even when they do not provide surgical procedures. A similar bill, which passed [JURIST report] in Alabama in April, has received criticism as a "back-door" attempt [JURIST op-ed] to circumvent a woman's right to abortion.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.