The United States Supreme Court has issued a decision which is a significant blow to Texas abortion law by striking down Texas House Bill 2 (HB 2). In a 5-3 decision, the nation’s highest court has struck down HB 2 in the case of Whole Woman’s Health et al. v. Hellerstedt. The legislation was signed into law by then Governor Rick Perry in 2013.
As reported by Breitbart Texas, the issues before the U.S. Supreme Court pertain to provisions that Texas lawmakers say are designed to improve the quality of care for women and improve the sanitary conditions of surgical centers used to provide women’s health services.
One of the provisions challenged required abortion facilities to comply with the standards already in place for ambulatory surgical centers. A second provision requires practitioners who perform abortions at the clinics to have admitting privileges at a hospital within thirty miles of the facility.
Medical experts testified that the requirements are reasonable and effective measures intended to improve the standard of care and safety for women undergoing abortion procedures. Pro-abortion groups call the legislation in Texas “sham laws” and complain they “are shutting clinics down and placing countless women at risk of serious harm,” as reported by Breitbart News.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton represented the State and oral argument was held on March 2. He has said “The common-sense measures Texas has put in place elevate the standard of care and protect the health of Texas women. The state has wide discretion to pass laws ensuring Texas women are not subject to substandard conditions at abortion facilities. The advancement of the abortion industry’s bottom line shouldn’t take precedent over women’s health, and we look forward to demonstrating the validity of these important health and safety requirements in Court.”