Supreme Court blocks Louisiana abortion limits

By Marilyn Malara  |  March 5, 2016 at 2:00 PM
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WASHINGTON, La., March 5 (UPI) -- The Supreme Court temporarily blocked Louisiana's new abortion law which would have closed three of the four remaining abortion clinics in the state.

The court order did not offer a clear reason behind the decision apart from aligning it to an earlier decision made regarding a similar Texas law in June 2015.

Justice Clarence Thomas is the only member of the court who noted a dissent from the order, which was published Friday.

The decision comes two days after justices heard arguments regarding the similar Texas case. The court is presumed to have cast their preliminary votes on which direction they will take in the ruling.

It is expected the Louisiana ruling will remain intact until the court comes to a conclusion in the Texas case, Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt.

The two states are said to be in different situations regarding their abortion clinic laws, with Texas' restrictions having been in effect for several months and Louisiana's having been enforced for nine days.

Texas' abortion law also allows access to eight or nine clinics, while Louisiana's laws decreases the amount of clinics to one consisting of a single doctor able to complete the procedure in the entire state.

"For the third time in a little over a year, the Supreme Court has stepped in to preserve women's ability to get the constitutionally-protected health care they need," Center for Reproductive Rights CEO Nancy Northup said in a statement following the decision.

"Our Constitution, along with nearly half a century of legal rulings, is clear that women have the right to make critical decisions about their life and health without interference from politicians. These underhanded tactics to cut off women's access to safe, legal abortion simply cannot stand," she added.

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry denounced the decision, saying in a Facebook post the state disagrees with the "unexplained decision and are disappointed that the stay was vacated."

"I will continue to defend Louisiana's pro-life and pro-woman laws," Landry added.

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