Supreme Court refuses to consider strict Texas abortion law

The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to take up the new restrictive abortion law in Texas, according to multiple reports.

On Friday, a majority of the justices decided against blocking the law, which has closed at least a dozen abortion clinics in the state. They split five to four, the reports say.  

“Reasonable minds can perhaps disagree about whether the [U.S. 5th Circuit] Court of Appeals should have granted a stay in this case," Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in the majority opinion, on which Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito concurred, according to the Texas Tribune

"There is no doubt that the applicants have not carried their heavy burden of showing that doing so was a clear violation of accepted legal standards — which do not include a special 'status quo' standard for laws affecting abortion."

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Justice Stephen Breyer wrote the dissenting opinion, the Tribune reports. "The underlying legal question — whether the new Texas statute is constitutional — is a difficult question,” he wrote. 

The law requires doctors performing abortions in the state to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.

Abortion rights groups petitioned the Supreme Court in early November requesting that it block the enforcement of the law. They pressed the high court to reinstate an injunction a three-judge panel lifted in late October. The panel said Texas State Attorney General Greg Abbott, who’s running for governor, provided enough evidence to show the law’s admitting requirement protected women’s health.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has a hearing scheduled in January to consider the abortion rights groups’ lawsuit.