United States Supreme Court denies application to vacate stay in Texas abortion case

Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas Surgical Health Services v Abbott

Texas passed new restrictions on abortion including the requirement that abortion providers have admitting privileges at a hospital no more than 30 miles away. The district court enjoined the requirement from taking effect. The 5th Circuit issued a stay which allowed the requirement to take effect during the pendency of the appeal. Planned Parenthood sought an order vacating the stay. The Court, apparently 5-4, denied the stay. Three justices issued an opinion concurring in the denial as the 5th Circuit applied the proper standard and did not error in concluding Texas will likely prevail, would be irreparably harmed by being prevented from enforcing its law and the public interest is best serve by allowing the statute to be enforced. The concurrence can be found here.  The dissent argued that the stay should be vacated because the district court judgment maintained the level of access to abortion before the new requirement, the stay disrupts that level of access, expedited consideration will mitigate any harm to Texas, the balance of harms favors Planned Parenthood and women who seek abortion as preventing access to services will be a permanent harm, the underlying constitutional question is difficult and there are no independent public interests served by the stay. The dissent can be found here.

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