WASHINGTON (BP) — The U.S. Supreme Court agreed today to rule on a Texas law that stands to sound the death knell for many abortion clinics.
The justices announced they would weigh a decision by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans that upheld most of the Texas measure, which requires an abortion doctor to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital in case a woman needs emergency hospitalization. The law also mandates abortion clinics must meet the health and safety standards of other walk-in surgical centers.
If upheld by the high court, the law would reduce the number of abortion facilities in Texas from what had been about 40 to fewer than 10. Such a decision by the justices would have an impact in other states that have similar laws.
Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, said after the high court issued its order, “We shouldn’t be surprised that the abortion rights lobby fights legislation that creates accountability for surgeons and clinics. The abortion industry has always operated at the expense of women and families.
The Supreme Court has not issued an opinion on abortion since 2007, when it upheld the federal ban on partial-birth abortion.
Oral arguments in the case, which is Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole, are not expected until February or later.