In a devastating loss for pro-life advocates, the Supreme Court overturned two provisions of Texas’ HB 2 law that placed restrictions on abortion providers by a vote of 5-3. The law was designed to improve the safety of women by requiring abortion providers to meet surgical center health and safety standards and maintain admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.
The Supreme Court struck down both of these provisions in its decision, finding that they placed an “undue burden” on a woman’s right to have an abortion.
“HB2 was an effort to improve minimum safety standards and ensure capable care for Texas women. It’s exceedingly unfortunate that the court has taken the ability to protect women’s health out of the hands of Texas citizens and their duly-elected representatives,” said Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
In his dissent, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote, “That decision exemplifies the Court’s troubling tendency ‘to bend the rules when any effort to limit abortion, or even to speak in opposition to abortion, is at issue,’” quoting the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
The legislation received national attention during a filibuster by Texas Senator Wendy Davis.
“Our main concern is the safety of Texas women. We will continue to stand for women to keep them safe so they are not maimed or die in abortion clinics,” Jonathan Saenz, President of Texas Values, said in a statement following the ruling.
You can read Joseph Backholm’s press statement here.