Pro-life leaders are railing against the Supreme Court’s 5-3 decision to strike down a Texas law that required abortion clinics to maintain the same health and safety standards as other outpatient surgical facilities.
Reacting to Whole Woman’s Health vs. Hellerstedt, Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) – a member of the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives – said in a statement:
Today is a sad day for women and their unborn babies. With the drop of a gavel, five Supreme Court justices have endangered the safety of women who may seek an abortion and have ensured that more innocent, unborn lives will be lost in the process. As a registered nurse, I know that there is ultimately no such thing as a safe abortion, but these modest standards work to reduce the risks of this already emotionally damaging procedure. The deep pockets of the big abortion industry may feel ‘burdened’ as a result of this compassionate law, but women are not – they are indeed safer as a result. This profoundly disappointing and cruel decision reinforces why the pro-life movement is more important than ever, and why the stakes are so high this November. Just as we worked for over a decade to overturn Planned Parenthood of Middle Tennessee vs. Sundquist in my state, we must now work to overturn this decision at the federal level and restore a culture where every child is welcomed in life and protected in law.
Black and more than 170 Members of the House and Senate filed an amicus brief in support of the Texas law earlier this year.
Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) referred to the decision as “unconscionable.” He said in a statement:
It is unconscionable that the Court today protected Big Abortion profits, not women’s safety. With this ruling, these five justices enable substandard, filthy conditions to persist within abortion mills across America. As we all saw in the wretched, inhumane conditions of the abortion mill operated by the monster Kermit Gosnell in Philadelphia, abortionists profit off women and the innocent unborn. Protecting the Big Abortion industry from common sense health and safety standards has nothing to do with the Constitution – and everything to do with greed and a systematic hatred of the unborn and their mothers.
Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America – the nation’s largest pro-life youth organization – said in a statement sent to Breitbart News:
Women lost today. Every time a woman seeks an abortion, she will wonder if the facility is clean. She will wonder if the abortionist has the necessary credentials to local hospitals in case of emergency. She will wonder if she is going into a facility like Kermit Gosnell’s, which had been compared to a disgusting gas station bathroom with blood on both the floor and medical instruments. It is the within the rights of the states, indeed, it is the duties of the states, to protect its citizens from predatory businesses, which is exactly what the abortion industry is. They prey on the vulnerabilities of women who are in desperate situations, placing their bottom line over the health and safety of the patients. And the U.S. Supreme Court, in efforts to put the so-called ‘right to abortion’ above everything else, just let them get away with it.”
Family Research Council (FRC) President Tony Perkins released the following statement:
The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down H.B. 2 undermines the health and safety of vulnerable women. This decision is a loss for women and gives the abortion industry a free pass. The need to regulate abortion facilities is necessary to protect women against cut-and-run abortionists at shoddy abortion facilities. Mandating basic and necessary health and safety standards such as trained staff, corridors that could accommodate a stretcher in case of emergency, admitting privileges to a hospital, and up-to-date fire, sanitation, and safety codes should be beyond the politics of abortion. When abortion facilities are not held to the same standards as other facilities, women’s lives are endangered. In 2011 alone, 26,500 women experienced abortion-related complications, and close to 3,200 women required post-abortion hospitalization. Hair and nail salons, public pools, restaurants, and tanning centers must meet basic health and safety standards—shouldn’t abortion facilities? Abortion facilities cannot be exempt from following basic health standards.
“While the need to protect the health and safety of women failed to remain at the forefront of the Supreme Court’s decision, we will continue our work to protect women and children from the predatory abortion industry,” Perkins added.
FRC’s Arina Grossu, director of the Center for Human Dignity, also said, “One cannot be pro-woman and stand for the substandard facilities that many abortion centers operate which risk women’s lives.”
“Striking down abortion facility regulations leaves the door open for continued and rampant disregard for women’s health and safety. Status-quo is not good enough,” she concluded.
Similarly, Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, sent the following statement to Breitbart News:
The Supreme Court is now the Supreme Medical Board, setting its own standards for patient care in the United States. This decision is an outrageous usurpation of legislative power and it only underscores the critical importance of electing a President who will nominate — and Senators who will confirm — justices to the Supreme Court who will adjudicate, not write the law.
The nation’s largest abortion business Planned Parenthood celebrated the decision in a tweet that said, “This is a win for Texans & women across the country who need access to abortion.”
— Planned Parenthood Action (@PPact) June 27, 2016