The U.S. Supreme Court will officially hear arguments on the appeal of H.B. 2, the law passed by the Texas legislature that requires abortion clinics meet the same health standards and regulations as other outpatient surgery centers, as well as require abortionists to have admitting privileges at local hospitals.
After the law passed in Texas, abortion clinics in the state appealed to the Supreme Court claiming the law unconstitutionally burdens women’s access to abortion because it may result in the closure of a number of abortion facilities that would fail to meet the safety standards.
That’s kind of the point, no?
Texas led the way in its effort to make sure a woman’s health isn’t in jeopardy when visiting an abortion clinic. By holding the facilities accountable to sanitation standards and by requiring the doctors performing abortions to have authorization to admit a woman to a hospital if anything goes wrong, it appears evident that Texas really does care most about women’s health.
Even with the existing framework thrust upon us by Roe v. Wade, the Court’s opinion was quite clear in making sure that states maintained the right to place reasonable requirements on clinics, especially when they were enacted in the interest of the health of the woman. The Court’s opinion stated:
The State has a legitimate interest in seeing to it that abortion, like any other medical procedure, is performed under circumstances that insure maximum safety for the patient. This interest obviously extends at least to the performing physician and his staff, to the facilities involved, to the availability of after-care, and to adequate provision for any complication or emergency that might arise.
It’s very hard to imagine how Texas’ efforts would have crossed a constitutional line. But nonetheless, a victory for Texas in June would be a major victory for the safety of women and the eventual abolition of abortion.
You can read more about the legal standards and precedents to will be examined here.