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Chief Justice Roberts Sides with Liberal Justices, Blocks Abortion Law

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The Supreme Court barred enforcement of a Louisiana law called the Unsafe Abortion Protection Act with a 5-4 vote Thursday night.

Chief Justice John Roberts joined the high court’s liberal bloc to prohibit the law’s implementation, while Justice Brett Kavanaugh led the conservatives in dissent.

The act was scheduled to take effect on Friday.

The Louisiana measure provides that physicians who perform abortions must have admitting privileges at a local hospital.

Abortion advocates say the law is identical to a Texas regulation which the Supreme Court struck down in 2016 in a case called “Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt.”

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Justice Samuel Alito delayed implementation of the Louisiana law by one week on February 1.

That order, called administrative stay, was necessary so that the justices could review court filings from each party.

Alito hears emergency petitions which arise out of the 5th Circuit.

A federal trial judge found the law unconstitutional in view of the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Texas case.

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But the 5th Circuit reversed, finding that the law created a tangible (but limited) benefit without seriously inhibiting abortion access.

Pro-choice groups counter that the measure will leave just one abortion provider in the state, making it a pretext to undermine abortion access.

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