The Supreme Court Makes a Huge Decision to Protect Women's Health

June 27th 2016

Danielle DeCourcey

The U.S. Supreme Court decided that a controversial Texas abortion law is not constitutional. The law put requirements in place that likely would have closed many more clinics in the state and forced women to travel long distances to get an abortion. Before the Texas law there were 41 abortion clinics in the state and now there are 19, according to Texas NBC affiliate KXAN.

The abortion law called House Bill 2 required abortion doctors to have admitting privileges in hospitals and it required renovations to clinics to make them have similar standards to surgical clinics.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote that the Texas law is is intended to keep women from getting abortions.

"It is beyond rational belief that H. B. 2 could genuinely protect the health of women," Ginsburg wrote, according to Vox.

In a 5-3 decision in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt, the Justices ruled that this law is unconstitutional, strengthening Roe v. Wade, the landmark abortion decision in this country. Justice Anthony Kennedy was the deciding vote. If the court had come to a tie vote, the ruling of the lower court would stand and the Texas law would stay in place.

Some anti-abortion Twitter users were upset about the decision. 

Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) tweeted that she was disappointed.

"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,”  wrote Black in a statement on her office's website. 

However President Barack Obama tweeted his support for the Supreme Court's decision and wrote that women should have the right to make their own "reproductive choices." 

Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tweeted her support for the decision, calling abortion a "right."

Ilyse Hogue, president of the National Association for the Repeal of the Abortion Laws, released a statement on the organization's website after the ruling. She wrote that this was an important win for women's health.

"The Justices apparently saw what we already knew—that the Texas law under review and all those like it are never about protecting women. They are about trying to ban abortion and undermining a woman's dignity and ability to determine her own future. The Supreme Court rightfully rejected this assault on our constitutional rights and said with a clear voice that attacks on access to safe and legal abortion care—even deceptive attacks like the Texas law—will not stand. This decision will help to stem the public health crisis in Texas by allowing the remaining clinics in Texas to keep their doors open, and it paves the way for new clinics to open and meet the needs of the millions of women in underserved areas of Texas."


Updated 11:05 a.m. PST: This story was updated with tweets from President Barack Obama and Rep. Diane Black. 

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