Stateside,  Women's Rights

Supreme Court rules against Texas abortion law

Remember Texas State Senator Wendy’s Davis’s principled but ultimately futile filibuster against a law designed to severely restrict access to legal abortions?

By a 5 to 3 vote, the Supreme Court struck down the law that placed extreme and unnecessary requirements on abortion clinics and was clearly designed to restrict access to abortions rather than protect women’s health.

The ruling affects other states with similarly restrictive laws.

It’s a big victory for women’s rights, especially for the rights of poor and low-income women.

Abortion clinics challenged Texas’ 2013 law known as House Bill 2 that requires abortion centers to meet some of the same standards as hospitals, such as having large operating rooms and wide corridors. Doctors with admitting privileges were also needed at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic.

There were 41 clinics that performed abortions prior to the bill’s passing. There are 19 clinics that perform abortions now. Less than 10 clinics were expected to remain if the Supreme Court ruled to uphold the law.

Almost all the clinics that could meet the law’s requirement are located in big cities, leaving many low-income women in outlying areas hundreds of miles from the nearest clinics– and often unable to afford traveling expenses and accomodations. And many women have been buying cheap abortion pills in Mexico and performing risky do-it-yourself abortions.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who joined the court’s majority, noted that abortions are statistically safer than such procedures as tonsillectomies, colonoscopies, in-office dental surgery and childbirth — but Texas does not impose similar restrictions on them.

“Given those realities, it is beyond rational belief that H.B. 2 could genuinely protect the health of women, and certain that the law ‘would simply make it more difficult for them to obtain abortions,’” Ginsburg wrote. “When a State severely limits access to safe and legal procedures, women in desperate circumstances may resort to unlicensed rogue practitioners … at great risk to their health and safety.”

Will this be a boost for #Texit secessionists?