In last-minute save, Texas abortion clinics can re-open

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In Last-Minute Save, Texas Abortion Clinics Can Re-Open

The U.S. Supreme Court has put a hold on a ruling that would have closed all but eight abortion clinics in Texas. That order stems from a 2013 law enforcing stricter conditions on abortion clinics statewide.

"The law required abortion clinics to meet hospital-like building standards. Those standards meant all but a handful of clinics in the state had to close."

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court halted those requirements and others from a federal appeals court ruling, which also said doctors performing abortions must be able to admit patients at nearby hospitals - only clinics in McAllen and El Paso are exempt from that part of the ruling.

State officials have said their decision to raise abortions clinic standards is in the interest of women's health, while opponents say the policy is just a way to bypass Roe v. Wade and effectively shut down Texas's abortion clinics.

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In last-minute save, Texas abortion clinics can re-open
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 22: A group from Texas display their flags during a rally on the Mall for the March for Life anti-abortion demonstration. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Marian Honquest, who is opposed to abortion, talks to a reporter in front of Planned Parenthood in Fort Worth, Texas, Friday, November 1, 2013. (David Kent/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images)
Marian Honquest, who is opposed to abortion, talks to a reporter in front of Planned Parenthood in Fort Worth, Texas, Friday, November 1, 2013. (David Kent/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images)
Mary Whitehead, an opponent of abortion, holds her rosary beads and prays on the sidewalk across the street from Planned Parenthood in Fort Worth, Texas, Friday, November 1, 2013. (David Kent/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images)
HALTOM CITY, TX - OCTOBER 3: Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis (D) speaks at the podium as she announces her intentions to run for Texas Governor at the W.G. Thomas Coliseum in Haltom City on October 3, 2013 in Haltom City, Texas. Davis, who entered the national spotlight after holding a filibuster on a Texas abortion bill, announced her intentions to run for Texas Governor at the same location where she accepted her high school diploma. (Photo by Stewart F. House/Getty Images)
[UNVERIFIED CONTENT] Texas State Troopers separate protesters in orange from blue clad supporters rallying for a bill proposing limitations to abortion in Texas at the State Capitol on July 1, 2013.
[UNVERIFIED CONTENT] Supporters rally for a bill proposing limitations to abortion in Texas at the state capitol in Austin, Texas on July 1, 2013.
AUSTIN, TX - JULY 08: Pro-life supporters and pro-choice protesters rally at the Texas state capitol in favor and against the new controversial abortion legislation up for a vote in the state legislature on July 8, 2013 in Austin Texas. Texas Gov. Rick Perry called on a second legislative special session to pass an restrictive abortion law through the Texas legislature. The first attempt was defeated after opponents of the law were able to stall the vote until after first special session had ended. (Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - JULY 08: Pro-choice protester Julia Ann Nitsch of Austin chants as pro-life supporters and pro-choice protesters rally at the Texas state capitol in favor and against the new controversial abortion legislation up for a vote in the state legislature on July 8, 2013 in Austin Texas. Texas Gov. Rick Perry called on a second legislative special session to pass an restrictive abortion law through the Texas legislature. The first attempt was defeated after opponents of the law were able to stall the vote until after first special session had ended. (Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - JULY 08: Pro-choice protesters march down Congress Avenue and back to the Texas state capitol as pro-life supporters and pro-choice protesters rally at the Texas state capitol in favor and against the new controversial abortion legislation up for a vote in the state legislature, on July 8, 2013 in Austin Texas. Texas Gov. Rick Perry called on a second legislative special session to pass an restrictive abortion law through the Texas legislature. The first attempt was defeated after opponents of the law were able to stall the vote until after first special session had ended. (Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - JULY 08: Pro-choice protesters march down Congress Avenue and back to the Texas state capitol as pro-life supporters and pro-choice protesters rally at the Texas state capitol in favor and against the new controversial abortion legislation up for a vote in the state legislature on July 8, 2013 in Austin Texas. Texas Gov. Rick Perry called on a second legislative special session to pass an restrictive abortion law through the Texas legislature. The first attempt was defeated after opponents of the law were able to stall the vote until after first special session had ended. (Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - JULY 08: Pro-life supporters and pro-choice protesters rally at the Texas state capitol in favor and against the new controversial abortion legislation up for a vote in the state legislature on July 8, 2013 in Austin Texas. Texas Gov. Rick Perry called on a second legislative special session to pass an restrictive abortion law through the Texas legislature. The first attempt was defeated after opponents of the law were able to stall the vote until after first special session had ended. (Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - JULY 08: Efrain and Adriana Hernandez of Morelia, Mexico get caught up in the middle of pro-life supporters and pro-choice protesters rally at the Texas state capitol as they get their wedding photos taken at the Texas state capitol on July 8, 2013 in Austin Texas. Texas Gov. Rick Perry called on a second legislative special session to pass an restrictive abortion law through the Texas legislature. The first attempt was defeated after opponents of the law were able to stall the vote until after first special session had ended. (Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)
[UNVERIFIED CONTENT] Anti-legislation supporters rally against a bill proposing sweeping limitations on abortion in Texas at the State Capitol on July 1st, 2013.
[UNVERIFIED CONTENT] Pro-legislation supporters rally for a bill proposing sweeping limitations on abortion in Texas at the State Capitol on July 1st, 2013.
AUSTIN, TX - JULY 01: Pro-choice and pro-life supporters fill the Texas State capitol rotunda on July 1, 2013 in Austin, Texas. This is first day of a second legislative special session called by Texas Gov. Rick Perry to pass an restrictive abortion law through the Texas legislature. The first attempt was defeated after opponents of the law were able to stall the vote until after first special session had ended. (Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - JULY 01: Supporters of Texas women's right to reproductive decisions rally at the Texas State capitol on July 1, 2013 in Austin, Texas. This is first day of a second legislative special session called by Texas Gov. Rick Perry to pass an restrictive abortion law through the Texas legislature. The first attempt was defeated after opponents of the law were able to stall the vote until after first special session had ended. (Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - JULY 01: Austin rock group The Bright Light Social Hour sing their song 'Wendy Davis' during a rally in support of Texas women's right to reproductive decisions at the Texas State capitol on July 1, 2013 in Austin, Texas. This is first day of a second legislative special session called by Texas Gov. Rick Perry to pass an restrictive abortion law through the Texas legislature. The first attempt was defeated after opponents of the law were able to stall the vote until after first special session had ended. (Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - JULY 01: Pro-life supporters in the Texas State capitol on July 1, 2013 in Austin, Texas. This is first day of a second legislative special session called by Texas Gov. Rick Perry to pass an restrictive abortion law through the Texas legislature. The first attempt was defeated after opponents of the law were able to stall the vote until after first special session had ended. (Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - JULY 01: Supporters of Texas women's right to reproductive decisions cheer under the portrait of former Texas Gov. Ann Richards at the Texas State capitol on July 1, 2013 in Austin, Texas. This is first day of a second legislative special session called by Texas Gov. Rick Perry to pass an restrictive abortion law through the Texas legislature. The first attempt was defeated after opponents of the law were able to stall the vote until after first special session had ended. (Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - JULY 01: Pro-life supporters pray in the Texas State capitol on July 1, 2013 in Austin, Texas. This is first day of a second legislative special session called by Texas Gov. Rick Perry to pass an restrictive abortion law through the Texas legislature. The first attempt was defeated after opponents of the law were able to stall the vote until after first special session had ended. (Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - JULY 01: Texas Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Ft. Worth) leads a rally in support of Texas women's right to reproductive decisions at the Texas state capitol on July 1, 2013 in Austin, Texas. This is first day of a second legislative special session called by Texas Gov. Rick Perry to pass an restrictive abortion law through the Texas legislature. The first attempt was defeated after opponents of the law were able to stall the vote until after first special session had ended. (Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)
GRAPEVINE, TX - JUNE 27: Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks to the National Right to Life convention at the Hyatt Regency DFW International Airport Hotel June 27, 2013 in Grapevine, Texas. Perry has reportedly vowed to continue the fight for a more restrictive abortion law in Texas after the state legislature failed to get the law passed during a special session because of a filibuster and protests. (Photo by Stewart F. House/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 29: Marissa Gabrysch of Life Always speaks at the dedication of controversial pro-life billboards depicting President Barack Obama March 29, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. Thirty of the billboards are scheduled to be placed in the city's predominately African American south and west side neighborhoods by Life Always, a Texas-based non-profit organization. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 24: A controversial anti-abortion billboard picturing a young African-American girl with text stating 'The most dangerous place for an African American is in the womb,' is seen February 24, 2011 in New York City. The mother of the six-year-old girl in the photograph wants the Texas-based anti-abortion group Life Always to take the billboard down. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 24: A controversial anti-abortion billboard picturing a young African-American girl with text stating 'The most dangerous place for an African American is in the womb,' is seen February 24, 2011 in New York City. The mother of the six-year-old girl in the photograph wants the Texas-based anti-abortion group Life Always to take the billboard down. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
384840 03: A young child is surrounded by anti-abortion signs January 27, 2001 during a rally in Austin, Texas. The rally called for an end to legal abortions allowed by the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court Roe V. Wade decision. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Newsmakers)
384840 02: Anti-abortion protesters march January 27, 2001 during a rally in Austin, Texas. The rally called for an end to legal abortions allowed by the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court Roe V. Wade decision. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Newsmakers)
AUSTIN, TX - JULY 01: Supporters of Texas women's right to reproductive decisions rally at the Texas State capitol on July 1, 2013 in Austin, Texas. This is first day of a second legislative special session called by Texas Gov. Rick Perry to pass an restrictive abortion law through the Texas legislature. The first attempt was defeated after opponents of the law were able to stall the vote until after first special session had ended. (Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - JULY 01: A pro-life supporter in the Texas State capitol on July 1, 2013 in Austin, Texas. This is first day of a second legislative special session called by Texas Gov. Rick Perry to pass an restrictive abortion law through the Texas legislature. The first attempt was defeated after opponents of the law were able to stall the vote until after first special session had ended. (Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - JULY 01: Supporters of Texas women's right to reproductive decisions rally at the Texas State capitol on July 1, 2013 in Austin, Texas. This is first day of a second legislative special session called by Texas Gov. Rick Perry to pass an restrictive abortion law through the Texas legislature. The first attempt was defeated after opponents of the law were able to stall the vote until after first special session had ended. (Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - JULY 08: Toddlers shoes are symbolically placed at the Texas state capitol steps as pro-life supporters and pro-choice protesters rally at the Texas state capitol in favor and against the new controversial abortion legislation up for a vote in the state legislature on July 8, 2013 in Austin Texas. Texas Gov. Rick Perry called on a second legislative special session to pass an restrictive abortion law through the Texas legislature. The first attempt was defeated after opponents of the law were able to stall the vote until after first special session had ended. (Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - JULY 08: Pro-choice protester Julia Ann Nitsch of Austin, center, chants as pro-life supporters and pro-choice protesters rally at the Texas state capitol in favor and against the new controversial abortion legislation up for a vote in the state legislature on July 8, 2013 in Austin Texas. Texas Gov. Rick Perry called on a second legislative special session to pass an restrictive abortion law through the Texas legislature. The first attempt was defeated after opponents of the law were able to stall the vote until after first special session had ended. (Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)
A man walks into a clinic that offers abortions in Santa Teresa, N.M., Friday, Oct. 3, 2014. Abortion services for many Texas women require a round trip of more than 200 miles, or a border-crossing into Mexico or New Mexico after federal appellate judges allowed full implementation of a law that has closed more than 80 percent of Texas' abortion clinics. (AP Photo/Juan Carlos Llorca)
FILE - In this July 12, 2013 file photo, abortion rights advocates fill the rotunda of the State Capitol as Texas senators were wrapping up debate on sweeping abortion restrictions and were poised to vote on a measure after weeks of protests. A federal appeals court that has already upheld a Texas law restricting abortions is hearing arguments about an even tougher part of the same law, which requires all abortion clinics to adopt costly standards mandated for walk-in surgical clinics. Texas asked the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reinstate the requirement found unconstitutional by a federal judge in Austin. (AP Photo/Tamir Kalifa, File)
Abortion rights demonstrators Amelie Hahn of Jackson, Mississippi, and Bill Lambert of Houston hold signs outside the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday, Sept. 12, 2014, while others shelter from the rain. A three-judge panel had just heard arguments about whether to let Texas enforce new restrictions on abortion while it appeals a district judge's ruling that those restrictions are unconstitutional. (AP Photo/Janet McConnaughey)
Young supporters of gubernatorial hopeful and state Sen. Wendy Davis are seen during her speech at the Dallas Convention Center during the Texas Democratic Convention in Dallas, Friday, June 27, 2014. Davis became a Democratic sensation nationally with a 12-plus hour Texas Senate filibuster last summer that temporarily delayed passage of strict abortion restrictions statewide. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Texas State Senator Wendy Davis, famous for her 12-hour filibuster attempt against an anti-abortion rights bill, speaks at a fundraiser, Thursday, July 25, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Kristen Adams of Dallas, shields herself from a light rain with a home made sign on poster board as she and nearly 200 others gathered to protest the approval of sweeping new restrictions on abortion, Monday, July 15, 2013, in Dallas. The gathering came as part of the National Day of Action that included similar rallies planned in several cities. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
A crowd of nearly 200 stand in front of city hall listening to speakers at a rally to protest the approval of sweeping new restrictions on abortion, Monday, July 15, 2013, in Dallas. The gathering came as part of the National Day of Action that included similar rallies planned in several cities. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
FILE - In this July 15, 2013 file photo, two signs that read "Who Lobbied For This?" and "We Need Healthcare Options, Not Obstacles" are held by attendees of a rally in front of Dallas city hall where a group of nearly 200 gathered to protest the approval of sweeping new restrictions on abortion in Texas. A U.S. appeals court on Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013, issued a ruling reinstating most of Texas' tough new abortion restrictions, which means as many as 12 clinics will not be able to perform the procedure starting as soon as Friday. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)
Abortion rights demonstrators rally outside of the State Capitol to protest recent legislation that could shut down all but five clinics and restrict abortion rights throughout the state in Austin, Texas on Monday, July 15, 2013. Republican lawmakers in Texas passed a bill last week that would give the state some of the nation's most restrictive abortion laws and force most of its clinics to close, leading Democrats to promise a fight over the contentious measure in the courts and at the ballot box. (AP Photo/Tamir Kalifa)
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Tuesday's order by the country's highest court is just the latest round in the ongoing battle over abortion in Texas - and the past few months have been particularly busy.

A U.S. District Court judge struck down provisions of the 2013 law August 29, saying it created an "impermissible obstacle" for women seeking abortions. Then, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals gave the go-ahead for the law on Oct. 2.

That back-and-forth caused a bit of confusion for the state and clinics in El Paso:

"According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, the ruling exempted Women's Reproductive Clinic, not the Hilltop Reproductive Clinic. But the state confused the two and has since acknowledged the error."

The 5th Circuit Court ruled Oct. 9 the ban could be enforced while the state appealed. Tuesday's order from the Supreme court reversed that decision.

Center for Reproductive Rights CEO Nancy Northup said because of the Supreme Court's order, 13 Texas clinics will be able to re-open Wednesday. But she added this is only a temporary victory: "This fight against Texas' sham abortion law is not over. HB2 was designed to gut the constitutional protections of Roe v. Wade and half of the state's clinics remain closed."

According to SCOTUSblog, the Supreme Court's order will stand until the 5th Circuit Court rules again on the controversial law.

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