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Supreme Court Blocks Enforcement of Louisiana Abortion Clinic Law

March 2: U.S. Supreme Court Takes Up Key Texas Abortion Case 2:15

The U.S. Supreme Court Friday blocked enforcement of Louisiana's new restriction on abortions. The court's action could suggest that a similar provision in Texas is also in trouble.

Friday's action prevents Louisiana from enforcing a 2014 law that requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. Doctors and clinics said the law would force three of the state's four abortion clinics to stop the procedures.

Justice Clarence Thomas would have allowed the Louisiana law to continue in effect while a legal challenge moves through the courts, the brief order said.

The court said it was acting "consistent with" its action last year when it put part of the Texas abortion law on hold while that case is on appeal.

Related: Analysis: Which Justice Kennedy Will Rule on Abortion?

The justices heard oral argument Wednesday in a challenge to the Texas law, which also requires abortion clinics to meet the same building standards as outpatient surgical centers.

The court's statement Friday seemed intended to suggest that the order should not be read to suggest how the Texas case will be decided.

But under normal procedures, the justices would have taken their preliminary vote on the Texas case on Wednesday, before issuing the order on the Louisiana challenge.

Abortion rights groups praised Friday's action.

"Last week we saw women in Louisiana thrown into a waking nightmare, with appointments cancelled overnight and health centers flooded with calls," said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.