Washington – The Supreme Court granted on Friday a request made by abortion clinics in Louisiana to temporarily block the abortion law pending appeal. With this action, the state’s Supreme Court blocked Louisiana from enforcing a law that threatened to close almost all the state’s abortion clinics.

The law, which was passed in 2014, requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges within 30 miles of the clinic. But abortion providers say the requirement is medically unnecessary as hospitals accept any patient who developed complications after an abortion, whether the doctor had admitting privileges or not.

Pro-abortion demonstrators protest in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on January 22, 2016, the 43rd anniversary of the Roe v Wade. Credit: Politico/Getty

The clinics challenging the law told the Supreme Court in an emergency application filed on February 26 that a lone doctor, working in one clinic, cannot meet the need for approximately 10,000 abortions in Louisiana each year, a need that was previously met by six physicians in five clinics across the state.

“As a result, many women will be unable to exercise their constitutionally protected right to choose abortion at all, and others will face unreasonable delays and, therefore, increased risks of complications, or will turn to self-performed, unlicensed or unsafe abortions,” They added according to The New York Times report.

A trial judge blocked the law, saying that such doctors were often unable to obtain admitting privileges for reasons unrelated to their competence and that the law created an undue burden on a woman’s constitutional right to abortion. However, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit stayed that decision on Feb. 24, meaning the law could take effect.

The Texas abortion case

A similar case formally known as Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt but often called “the Texas abortion case is being currently discussed. This case, which is about a Texas law known as HB2 was created to strict regulations on abortion clinics and has so far forced over 20 clinics to close.

Just two days before Louisiana Supreme court decided to block the state’s abortion law, it heard oral arguments concerning the similar law from Texas.

During the hearing on Wednesday, the justices seemed divided over the fate of the Texas abortion law. On Friday, the justices met again to discuss the Texas case, this time behind doors.

Source: The New York Times