Pro-choice activist, Alissa Manzoeillo, of Washington, D.C. waits for rulings in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on June 27, 2016 in Washington, DC. Pete Marovich/Getty Images/AFP
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The U.S. Supreme Court Monday handed a victory to abortion rights advocates, striking down a Texas law imposing strict regulations on abortion doctors and facilities that its critics contended were specifically designed to shut down clinics.The normally nine-justice court was one member short after the Feb. 13 death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, who consistently opposed abortion in past rulings.Conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy joined liberal members of the court in ruling that both key provisions of the law violate a woman's constitutional right to obtain an abortion.Texas had said its law, passed by a Republican-led legislature and signed by a Republican governor in 2013, was aimed at protecting women's health.Since the law was passed, the number of abortion clinics in Texas, the second-most-populous U.S. state with about 27 million people, has dropped from 41 to 19 .Abortion rights supporters hailed the ruling.Abortion opponents denounced the ruling.
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