Reinstatement of abortion law leaves few options

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The Supreme Court prohibits legislatures from banning most abortions, acknowledged Joe Pojman, executive director of Texas Alliance for Life. But, he said in a statement, “states should have the right to protect women from dangerous abortion procedures.”

Texas follows Utah, Tennessee and Kansas in enforcing the admitting privileges law. Similar laws are under temporary court injunctions in Alabama, Wisconsin, North Dakota and Mississippi, which also falls under the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. The appeals court has left in place the temporary injunction against the Mississippi law.

If lifted, the Mississippi injunction would force the state’s only remaining clinic to stop providing the procedure. The Supreme Court has ruled in past decisions that lawmakers may not pass laws that would effectively end abortions in a state because that would put an undue burden on women trying to exercise their right to end a pregnancy.

In Thursday’s opinion, appellate Judge Priscilla Owen noted that the Texas law would not end the procedure, only force women to drive a greater distance to obtain one.

Almost all Republican lawmakers who make up the majority in both chambers of the Texas Legislature are vocally anti-abortion and have repeatedly pledged to try to stop abortion. Gov. Rick Perry has also dedicated himself to making abortion illegal, saying late Thursday that his administration would continue “doing everything we can to protect a culture of life in our state.”

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Tomlinson reported from Austin, Texas.

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