Supreme Court rejects bid to restore Alabama abortion law

The Supreme Court on Friday declined to hear a case on a 2015 Alabama abortion law that bans a common form of the procedure during the second trimester of pregnancy.

Alabama had sought to overturn lower court rulings that struck down the law, but the justices rejected that bid in their order.

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Justice Clarence ThomasClarence ThomasWhat to know about the fight over Trump's tax returns Liberal, conservative Supreme Court justices unite in praising Stevens Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids — Harris walks back support for eliminating private insurance | Missouri abortion clinic to remain open through August | Georgia sued over 'heartbeat' abortion law MORE wrote in a concurring opinion that he agreed the court should not hear the case, but called it a "stark reminder that our abortion jurisprudence has spiraled out of control."

"Although this case does not present the opportunity to address our demonstrably erroneous 'undue burden' standard, we cannot continue blinking the reality of what this court has wrought," Thomas wrote.

The 2015 law blocked doctors from using the "dilation and evacuation" method of abortion, a common abortion procedure used during the second trimester of a pregnancy.

A lower court had struck down the Alabama rule in 2016, finding that it was in violation of the precedent set by Roe v. Wade.

Friday's move by the Supreme Court means the justices will once again duck on having to rule on abortion and potentially on the 1973 decision that established a woman's right to the procedure.

The Supreme Court earlier this year also declined to hear arguments on an Indiana abortion law, instead choosing to uphold part of the statute that involved fetal remains while sending the rest of it back down to a lower court. They declined to hear a challenge to a provision of the law that blocked abortions on the basis of sex, race or disability.

GOP-controlled state legislatures have increasingly passed restrictive abortion bans in an attempt to get the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, or at least whittle away at the precedent protecting a woman's right to abortion.

One of those laws was recently passed in Alabama, and it effectively outlaws abortions as soon a pregnancy is detected. However, state officials have said they cannot enforce the measure.

Legal experts have said that it's unlikely that the court will take up abortion, a highly divisive and inflammatory topic, any time soon.

In the concurring opinion, Thomas indicated that he would have ruled in favor of upholding the 2015 Alabama law, writing that the "notion that anything the in the Constitution prevents states from passing laws prohibiting the dismembering of a living child is implausible." Alabama lawmakers behind the law had referred to the procedure as "dismemberment."

But he repeated his assertions from earlier in the term that the court will soon have to revisit abortion rights.

Updated at 11:11 a.m.