(Reuters) – Reverberations from the U.S. Supreme Court’s major ruling backing abortion rights were felt on Tuesday as the justices rejected bids by Mississippi and Wisconsin to revive restrictions on abortion doctors matching those struck down in Texas on Monday.
The laws in Mississippi and Wisconsin required doctors to have “admitting privileges,” a type of difficult-to-obtain formal affiliation, with a hospital within 30 miles (48 km) of the abortion clinic. Both were put on hold by lower courts.
The Mississippi law would have shut down the only clinic in the state if it had gone into effect.
“This is what we’ve been waiting on,” Shannon Brewer, director of the Jackson Women’s Health Organization clinic in Mississippi, said in a telephone interview. “We’ve been on pins and needles not knowing when this ruling would come down. This is a wonderful victory for us.”
In addition, Alabama’s attorney general said late on Monday that his state would abandon defense of its own “admitting privileges” requirement for abortion doctors, in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling.
The laws in Texas, Mississippi, Wisconsin and Alabama are among the numerous measures enacted in conservative U.S. states that impose a variety of restrictions on abortion. But the Supreme Court’s ruling on Monday in the Texas case, providing its most stout endorsement of abortion rights since 1992, could imperil a variety of these state laws.
Conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy joined the court’s four liberals in the 5-3 decision.