Supreme Court considers whether it will take Texas admitting privileges case

Today the US Supreme Court is considering whether it will hear Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole, a legal challenge to Texas abortion clinic regulations credited with closing half the state’s abortion facilities.

On September 4, Live Action News reported that the pro-abortion Center for Reproductive Rights petitioned the high court to take up the case against Texas’s 2013 requirements that abortionists have admitting privileges at local hospitals and that abortions take place in ambulatory surgical centers (the latter of which is not currently in effect).

If the Supreme Court hears the case, it could redefine the status quo for legally-recognized abortion restrictions for the first time since 2007’s Gonzales v. Carhart, which upheld banning partial-birth abortion, and 1992’s Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which upheld abortion waiting periods.

ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project director Jennifer Dalven expressed hope that the justices would strike down what she called a “sham law.” But Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel Steven Aden described the decision before the court as whether they will “continue to recognize the role of states in protecting [quality health care] or require federal judges to act as medical boards,” noting that state legislatures normally oversee medical standards in areas other than abortion.

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