In a 5-4 decision split along party lines, the Supreme Court rejected on Tuesday an emergency application to block a Texas abortion law, upholding the lower court’s ruling that its embattled core provision is not without rational basis.

The application filed by the Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas asked the Supreme Court to vacate the appellate court’s reversal of U.S. Distric Judge Lee Yaekel’s original ruling, which criticized and ultimately rejected a polarizing provision whereby Texas abortion clinics must be within 30 miles of a fully-equipped health center with inpatient admission privileges. In overturning Yaekel’s decision, the three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals submitted that the provision did indeed have a rational basis, as it would add “another layer of protection” for patients. “The requirement that physicians performing abortions must have hospital admitting privileges helps to ensure that credentialing of physicians beyond initial licensing and periodic license renewal occurs,” Circuit Judge Priscilla Owen wrote.

Writing for the Supreme Court, Justice Antonin Scalia said that although both sides may have advanced strong arguments, a slew of procedural shortcomings precluded the application from being granted. “Reasonable minds can perhaps disagree about whether the court of appeals should have granted a stay in this case,” he wrote. “But there is no doubt that the applicants have not carried their heavy burden of showing that doing so was a clear violation of accepted legal standards — which do not include a special ‘status quo’ standard for laws affecting abortion.”

In a dissent joined by Justices Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan, Justice Stephen Breyer echoed the original court’s criticism, holding that the effect of the ruling was to shutter all abortion clinics in 24 counties. The law, Breyer wrote, may “substantially reduce access to safe abortions elsewhere in Texas.” Given its practical consequences, the law should remain suspended “while the lower courts consider this difficult, sensitive and controversial legal matter.”

“The longer a given facility remains closed, the less likely it is ever to reopen even if the admitting privileges requirement is ultimately held unconstitutional,” he added.

Planned Parenthood and other rights groups expressed disappointment with the decision, claiming that the embattled law will force a third of the state’s abortion clinics out of business and prevent upwards of 20,000 women from accessing safe abortion. "While we are deeply disappointed, this isn't over,” Cecile Richard, the president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, told Reuters. “We will take every step we can to protect the health of Texas women."