NEW ORLEANS (BP) — A lawsuit challenging abortion regulations in Texas is being fast-tracked through the appeals process and most likely will go to the U.S. Supreme Court, with attorneys for both sides navigating uncharted legal waters.
As Whole Woman’s Health v. Lakey is bandied in the appeals process, Texas abortion clinics have closed and now reopened since Sept. 1, the date when the House Bill 2 was scheduled to go into effect. In the latest iteration, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in mid-October that HB 2 cannot go into effect while two key provisions are under appeal.
The Supreme Court statement named the dissenting justices, an unusual move when considering emergency applications, with Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito voting to deny the hearing. A majority decision to deny would have left the Fifth Circuit’s Oct. 2 judgment in place that allowed enforcement of the law, closing all but eight abortion clinics in Texas.
Some of the clinics forced to close Oct. 3 due to full implementation of the law began to open again following the high court ruling.