This morning, the United States Supreme Court overturned Texas’ HB2, a sweeping anti-abortion bill passed by the Texas Legislature in 2013. This means Texas abortion clinics will remain open and can continue to provide safe and legal abortion care!
This case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, was part of a disturbing trend in state legislatures across the country: passing restrictive abortion laws masquerading as measures to protect women’s health. But the justices in the majority saw through that pretense—the Court correctly found that the law made it unnecessarily difficult for a woman to access abortion care.
As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in her concurrence, “It is beyond rational belief that HB 2 could genuinely protect the health of women, and certain that the law would simply make it more difficult for them to obtain abortions.”
In a time when state lawmakers are using countless tactics to restrict abortion access, the highest court in the land drew a line upholding a woman’s constitutional right to abortion and her ability to make her own decisions about her health, family, and future. And now, it’s up to us to hold that line. Anti-choice lawmakers will continue to pass restrictive abortion laws, pushing abortion care further out of reach for those who need it most.
We are proud to have raised the issue of abortion restrictions’ impact on survivors of rape and intimate partner violence in our amicus brief, filed in this case with some of our finest allies. Survivors face numerous barriers to health and safety, and burdensome restrictions on abortion only add to those barriers. We must continue to ensure survivors—and all women—have access to abortion so that they can decide and act on what is best for them.
We won’t go back. And, at least for today, we know women in Texas won’t have to.
– Justice Kennedy and the Undue Burden, by Catherine Roseman
– U.S. Supreme Court decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt
– Washington Advocates Say Abortion Ruling Won’t End Debate, KIRO 7 6/27/16