BREAKING: Supreme Court Refuses to Block Texas Abortion Clinic Standards

Katie Pavlich

11/19/2013 6:25:00 PM - Katie Pavlich

The Supreme Court will not block Texas legislation requiring abortion clinic doctors to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. More from the AP:

A sharply divided Supreme Court is allowing Texas to continue enforcing abortion restrictions that opponents say have led more than a third of the state's clinics to stop providing abortions.

The justices voted 5-4 Tuesday to leave in effect a provision requiring doctors who perform abortions in clinics to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

The court's conservative majority refused the plea of Planned Parenthood and several Texas abortion clinics to overturn a preliminary federal appeals court ruling that allowed the provision to take effect.

The four liberal justices dissented.

The case remains on appeal to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. That court is expected to hear arguments in January, and the law will remain in effect at least until then.

And some background from LifeNews:

Abortion activists have not challenged that part of the law which prohibits the killing of unborn children who have reached the developmental milestone of being able to feel pain which substantial medical evidence places at 20 weeks, if not earlier. Nor are they challenging the requirement that all abortions be performed in ambulatory surgical centers, noting that this portion of the law does not go into effect until September 2014.

Where we go from here:

With the Supreme Court not intervening, the full appeals court has scheduled a hearing on the case for January to consider the lawsuit. The abortion businesses can proceed with the case there or ask another Supreme Court justice to intervene and stop the law from taking effect while the case continues.

This is a big win for the pro-life movement and sets a precedent abortion legislation in states across the country and at the national level. The same Texas law bans abortion after five months of pregancy, which has gone unchallenged in court (so far) by groups like Planned Parenthood. Earlier this month, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham officially introduced a five month late-term abortion ban into the U.S. Senate.