This is MAJOR! The Supreme Court has finally reached a decision in the landmark abortion case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt! The Supreme Court struck down the law that required abortion clinics to meet such tough standards, it would have closed virtually all in the state.
Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt was the first major abortion case to reach the Court in over two decades, which means what the Supreme Court decided on June 27 will have a lasting effect on women across the entire country! And in the end, it was ruled that the law is unconstitutional as it would have left hundreds of thousands of women unable to receive an abortion. Read below for all the details!
The U.S. Supreme Court handed a victory to abortion rights advocates on June 27, striking down a Texas law imposing strict regulations on abortion doctors and facilities that its critics contended were specifically designed to shut down clinics. If the law had passed, only nine or 10 clinics would have been left in a state with 5.4 million women of reproductive age, according to NBC News.
“We conclude,” Justice Stephen Breyer wrote, “that neither of these provisions offers medical benefits sufficient to justify the burdens upon access that each imposes. Each places a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking a previability abortion, each constitutes an undue burden on abortion access, and each violates the Federal Constitution.”
The law, if passed, also could have reduced the number of abortion clinics in the state to about 10 from what was once a high of roughly 40. The remaining clinics would be clustered in four metropolitan areas: Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio. “None is located west or south of San Antonio, a vast geographic area that is larger than California,” a brief for the clinics said.
To break it down: Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt dealt with House Bill 2, or HB2, which is a Texas law requiring abortion clinics to meet the standards of “ambulatory surgical centers,” or hospital facilities that can accommodate low-risk surgery. It also states that abortion doctors must have admitting privileges to a hospital within 30 miles of their clinic.
SCOTUS strikes down Texas restrictions on abortion clinics that would have closed over half the clinics in the state https://t.co/60AOHcl6m8
— ABC News (@ABC) June 27, 2016
And while creators of the law say it protects the safety of women seeking abortions, it has actually caused the majority of Texas’ abortion clinics to shut down! That’s why one Texas clinic, Whole Woman’s Health, fought the ruling of the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, which upheld the law.
Whole Woman’s Health argued that the law’s restrictions create an “undue burden” on women seeking abortions. An “undue burden” is a standard that was established in the 1992 case Planned Parenthood v. Casey. What the Supreme Court was deciding was whether or not the Texas law did in fact constitute an undue burden. Although HB2 is specific to Texas, other courts will begin using the Supreme Court’s ruling to decide similar cases of their own. So in short, this is a BIG win for pro-choice activists across the country.
Tell us, HollywoodLifers — do you think the Supreme Court gave a fair ruling? What did YOU want the outcome of Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt to be?