Despite Legal Reprieve On Abortion, Some Texas Clinics Remain Closed : Shots - Health News Texas clinics that provide abortion services were surprised by a ruling from the high court this week that allows them to reopen. But the bruising legal battle may have already changed the landscape.

Despite Legal Reprieve On Abortion, Some Texas Clinics Remain Closed

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Some other news now - Texas abortion clinics shut down by a state law can now reopen for now, thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court. Carrie Feibel with Houston Public Media explains.

CARRIE FEIBEL, BYLINE: Under the new Texas law, clinics that perform abortions must meet the standards of ambulatory surgery centers. Thirteen clinics closed because they didn't - leaving no providers in South or West Texas. Amy Hagstrom Miller is chief executive of Whole Woman's Health, which had to close five of its six clinics.

AMY HAGSTROM MILLER: To begin with, there were only two clinic facilities in the Rio Grande Valley and both of us had to close, which meant that women had to travel upwards of 250 miles round-trip in order to get an abortion safely from a trained medical physician.

FEIBEL: Now the U.S. Supreme Court has said clinics that aren't surgery centers can still continue to operate while the law is appealed to the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans.

MILLER: I was really surprised and really delighted.

FEIBEL: Miller says she'll reopen her clinic in South Texas by Friday. She is also working to reopen a second clinic in Fort Worth. But even with this ruling, the ongoing fight in Texas has permanently changed the landscape for abortion providers and not all the clinics will reopen. Miller's clinic in Austin no longer has a lease. One Houston doctor got frustrated, closed his clinic and retired. Supporters of the law remain optimistic. These clinics will have to close again if the Fifth Circuit court rules the Texas law can stand.

Emily Horne is with Texas Right to Life.

EMILY HORNE: The encouraging thing for us is that this case is still before the Fifth Circuit and the Fifth Circuit has already said a lot of positive things about the state's merit and likelihood of success.

FEIBEL: The appeal will probably be heard in December or early next year.

For NPR News I'm Carrie Feibel in Houston.

INSKEEP: That story came out of a reporting partnership with NPR News, KUHF and Kaiser Health News.

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