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Abortion Rights Attorneys File Emergency Stay With U.S. Supreme Court Justice

David Martin Davies
TPR News
Protesters on both sides of the abortion issue made their point outside the Stand With Texas Women rally in San Antonio this summer.

Attorneys for a group of abortion rights groups and clinics have asked the U.S. Supreme Court for an emergency order to overturn the ruling by the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court, which overturned an initial decision on parts of Texas' new abortion restriction law and allowed those restrictions to take immediate effect.

The ruling by the Fifth Circuit allowed two restrictions to take effect: Doctors at clinics performing abortions must have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles, and doctors must provide patients with FDA guidelines when prescribing the abortion drug RU-486.

The order was filed directly with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Antonin Scalia, who will review the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court’s ruling regarding the implementation of the hospital admitting privilege requirement.  

"The question before Justice Scalia right now is really just about whether he should lift the stay that the 5th Circuit Court put in place blocking the district court’s injunction," said Attorney Brigitte Amiri, who represents the American Civil Liberties Union. "So basically getting us back to the district court’s recent decision enjoining the admitting privileges law. And then our case goes forward."

The group is hoping Scalia can return a ruling regarding this single issue by Nov. 12 to prevent more Texas clinics that perform abortions from closing.

Austin resident Marney J. Evans, who was on the conference call with the attorneys, said she was scheduled for an abortion last week when the Fifth Circuit Court made their ruling.

"When I got that voicemail canceling my medical appointment I was devastated," Evans said. "I was also disappointed, I had no idea what to do next."

Evans said she is not ready to have children and is contemplating flying out of state in order to fulfill her decision to have an abortion, using money she had saved for her upcoming honeymoon. Abortion rights advocates and clinics from across the state will still be headed to appeals court this coming January.

Ryan started his radio career in 2002 working for Austin’s News Radio KLBJ-AM as a show producer for the station's organic gardening shows. This slowly evolved into a role as the morning show producer and later as the group’s executive producer.