SCOTUS Stops HB 2 – For Now

In 5-4 ruling, Supreme Court temporarily blocks abortion law

SCOTUS Stops HB 2 – For Now
Illustration by Jason Stout

The U.S. Supreme Court has prevented the final part of Texas abortion law, House Bill 2, from taking effect. The rule would have shuttered all but an estimated eight clinics in the state.

In a 5-4 stay issued Monday afternoon, SCOTUS granted plaintiffs of Whole Woman's Health v. Cole their request to halt the law from being enacted as scheduled this Wednesday, July 1.

The one-paragraph order states that the block will take effect until the high court considers a request to review the full case. Chief Justice John Roberts, Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito would have denied the application, the order reads.

Abortion providers have promised to appeal to the high court and legal experts eye the Texas case as the most likely to reach SCOTUS, as the Chronicle reported last week.

The first three parts of the law have already taken effect: Physicians must secure admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic where they perform the procedure; patients must adhere to outdated FDA protocol when ingesting abortion medication; and women are barred from abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The final part would have forced clinics to comply with hospital-like building changes deemed unnecessary and potentially dangerous by health organizations.

View the order here.

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