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Government/Politics

Opposing Groups Await SCOTUS Decision On Abortion

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Ryan E. Poppe

At a rally on the University of Texas at Austin campus, Tricia Trigilio, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas repeated her group’s position: that the law from its very beginnings was intended to close the state’s abortion  clinics.

“When this law was passed, Gov. (Rick) Perry bragged that the law would have this effect and every medical organization to review the law has rejected," Trugilio said.

Trigilio said if the law remains intact, it's likely there will not be a clinic offering abortion services within  600 miles of some cities including El Paso.

Outside the Supreme Court building, anti-abortion forces presented a different picture.

Joe Pojman, the director of Texas Alliance for Life believes the Texas law is needed to protect women from unsafe abortions.  Following arguments before the court he said Justice Anthony Kennedy holds the key to the continued implementation of the abortion law.

Following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia there are just eight justices on the court. If Kennedy decides to support the Texas law there would likely be a split vote.

“The court would be tied 4-4, that would mean that the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals would be the binding decision and our law could go into effect," Pojman explained.

The groups opposed to the law claim it creates an undue burden for women living in areas of South and West Texas, because it’s too expensive for many abortion clinics to meet new standards. 

Under Texas’ House Bill 2, doctors performing abortions must obtain hospital admitting privileges near their practices. 

The high court is expected to rule on the lawsuit in June.