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Supreme Court blocks Texas from closing most of its abortion clinics

Thirteen Texas abortion clinics will remain open, after the Supreme Court blocked a stringent new law from taking effect.

Texas' House Bill 2 - the legislation that Texas Sen. Wendy Davis attempted to filibuster - required abortion clinics to become certified as ambulatory surgical centers. The 13 clinics set to close prior to the Supreme Court's action said they would be unable to meet that requirement, largely because they could not afford the necessary upgrades. Abortion clinics in Texas have said that upgrading to these new standards would cost upwards of $1 million.

That would leave Texas with eight abortion clinics, all in large urban areas. The Texas Tribune's Becca Aaronson has previously mapped them:

texas abortion clinics

A map of Texas' remaining abortion clinics if H.B. 2 takes effect (Becca Aaronson)

A second provision in H.B. 2 — requiring abortion clinics to gain admitting privileges at a local hospital — already closed 14 other Texas clinics.

If the additional 13 clinics close, it will mean that 900,000 of Texas' reproductive age women would live 150 miles or more from an abortion facility.

The Supreme Court intervention is not permanent. Instead, the injunction only stops Texas from enforcing the law as the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals weighs its constitutionality. That circuit court is still weighing the merits of the case but had allowed the new restriction to come into effect.

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