In a 5-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down this morning a Texas law requiring abortion facilities to adhere to minimum health and safety standards. The ruling will draw the future of the abortion industry for the next several decades, and is expected to impact similar state laws regulating abortion centers.
The highly anticipated Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt decision stemmed from an abortion chain’s challenge to Texas’s HB 2 law, which holds abortion facilities to the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers and requires abortionists to obtain hospital admitting privileges.
Justices on the high court said that the Texas law places an “undue burden” on women seeking abortions.
Abortion advocates claim that HB 2 is to blame for the number of abortion facilities in Texas dropping by more than half since the law took effect in 2013. The argument, however, is faulty, as abortion facilities have closed because they refused to comply with minimum health and safety regulations.
Further, more than half of the abortion facilities to have closed nationwide since 2014 have been in blue states, suggesting that fewer women seeking abortions is a more significant factor in the decline.
Live Action President Lila Rose responded to the high court’s decision to strike down provisions of HB 2.
The Supreme Court has put women and preborn children in further danger with its decision to strike down basic health and safety standards for abortion facilities. The nightmares – from filthy, unsanitary equipment to women’s deaths – will continue at abortion facilities that remain virtually unregulated.
The justices who have chosen to strike down Texas’s law reveal their extreme pro-abortion bias, going so far as to reject the established authority of states to enact laws to ensure the safety of their own citizens. Just as it did with its unjust decision in Roe v. Wade, the court has once again refused to recognize the basic human rights of the preborn child or the grave indignity that abortion does to women.
Medical professionals widely recognize admitting privileges as legitimate and necessary. Further, state regulation of health and safety standards for abortion facilities are fully permitted by the plain meaning of the Constitution’s text (notwithstanding the “undue burden” test, which is problematic as “undue burden” does not have a precise or objective legal meaning and is therefore subject to the biased interpretation of any individual judge).
In 2014, Texas Right to Life noted that despite receiving almost 20,000 comments about the law, the Texas Department of State Health Services said none of them contained “any basis to believe that abortion providers would be unable to make similar adjustments” to complaining abortion providers who “nonetheless received admitting privileges and either stayed open or reopened.”
The plaintiff, Whole Women’s Health, has a history of documented health violations, which have often gone unmentioned in mainstream media coverage of the case.