In another confusing turn of events for House Bill 2, a pro-life bill that bans abortions at 20 weeks and strengthens regulations for the state's abortion clinics, the Supreme Court of the United States just sided with the clinics and granted a stay in the case, allowing them to remain open for the time being.
The justices voted 5-4 to grant an emergency appeal from the clinics after a federal appeals court upheld new regulations and refused to keep them on hold while the clinics appealed to the Supreme Court.
More information on that "controversial" bill:
Abortion restrictions passed by the Texas Legislature in 2013 — and set to go into effect Wednesday — would have required Texas' abortion facilities to meet hospital-like standards, including minimum sizes for rooms and doorways, pipelines for anesthesia and other infrastructure.
The new restrictions would have shuttered 10 of the 19 remaining abortion clinics in Texas.
Former Texas Governor and current Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry excoriated SCOTUS for their decision:
“The Supreme Court’s stay unnecessarily puts lives in danger by allowing unsafe facilities to continue to perform abortions. I am confident the court will ultimately uphold these commonsense measures to protect the health and safety of Texas women.”
Live Action President Lila Rose was similarly frustrated with the law's newest hurdle:
"Women and babies are being denied protections with the Supreme Court blocking pro-life legislation. Contrary to what big abortion organizations would have us believe, the possible closure of abortion facilities is due to the refusal of these corporations to adhere to sensible and ordinary medical precautions. We look forward to the day that both the legislature and the Courts use their power to protect the most vulnerable among us."
The timing of the case makes it especially significant, for it could have national implications.
The court's decision to block the regulations is a strong indication that the justices will hear the full appeal, which could be the biggest abortion case at the Supreme Court in nearly 25 years.
If the court steps in, the hearing and the eventual ruling would come amid the 2016 presidential campaign.
Pro-abortion activists who claim to be concerned about women's health continue to oppose a law that would only ensure better safety standards for patients who visit these clinics. Abortion clinics are unsafe enough considering their goal is to end unborn lives. Unregulated abortion clinics? Shudder.
Because of HB2's common sense standards, current Texas Governor Greg Abbott expects the Supreme Court to ultimately do the right thing for the women of Texas.
“HB 2 was a constitutional exercise of Texas’ lawmaking authority that was correctly and unanimously upheld by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Texas will continue to fight for higher-quality healthcare standards for women while protecting our most vulnerable – the unborn, and I’m confident the Supreme Court will ultimately uphold this law.”