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Abortion Case Returns to Supreme Court after Scalia’s Death

 Abortion Case Returns to Supreme Court after Scalia’s Death

The Supreme Court will hear a major abortion case on Wednesday which involves the right of certain states to enforce regulations against abortion clinics.

ABC News reports that the case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, involves a Texas law enacted in 2013 which requires clinics that perform abortions to meet the standards of outpatient or ambulatory surgical centers. The law also requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. 

The effort and expense required to restructure many abortion clinics to be compliant with this law was too much and thus many were effectively shut down.

Before the law passed, Texas had about 40 abortion clinics. About half have closed. If the law was put into full effect, only about 10 would remain legally open.

The Supreme Court challenged this Texas law which was also applied in other surrounding states such as Louisiana and Alabama.

The case is positioned to be a controversial and tense one. With Justice Antonin Scalia’s death, many believe the Court will have a split 4-4 decision. 

Pro-lifers are hoping that moderate Justice Anthony Kennedy will support the Texas law and will swing the decision 5-3. Four of the justices are already likely to uphold the Texas law. 

Kennedy was part of the 5-4 majority upholding abortion rights in 1992, but also wrote the Court’s 2007 decision upholding a federal law banning partial birth abortion.

Ashley McGuire, a senior fellow with the anti-abortion group The Catholic Association says that the pro-life fight will not stop, no matter what the Court rules. 

"This fight is not going away anytime soon," McGuire said.

Publication date: February 29, 2016