The Supreme Court blocked key parts of a 2013 law in Texas that had closed all but eight facilities providing abortions, the Associated Press reports.
According to the Associated Press, "the justices sided with abortion rights advocates and health care providers in suspending an Oct. 2 ruling by the U.S. 5th Circuit Court in New Orleans." The court had upheld HB 2, an omnibus package designed to curtail and limit women's access to abortion services — the same legislation Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis filibustered in 2013. The lower court ruling meant that Texas could immediately apply a rule making abortion clinics statewide spend millions of dollars on hospital-level upgrades."
When the law was upheld earlier in October by the 5th Circuit Court, women arrived at clinics over the weekend only to find they were no longer in operation. It also meant that 900,000 of Texas' reproductive-age women lived 150 miles or more from an abortion facility.
"We're seeing the terrible impact these restrictions have on thousands of Texas women who effectively no longer have access to safe and legal abortion," Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, told Reuters. "We're relieved that the court stepped in to stop this, and we hope this dangerous law is ultimately overturned completely."
Editors Note: Mar. 3, 2015
An earlier version of this article cited Associated Press reporting, but did not include quotations around the cited passage. The story has been updated to fully attribute the Associated Press' language.