Here’s a long-awaited decision, and we won. I’ve heard the vote is 5-3, making the court even more liberal now that Scalia is gone, but this was just announced and I haven’t seen either the decision or details. All I can say is that the three who voted against it are undoubtedly Thomas, Roberts, and Alito.
This is a great victory for those of us who are “pro-choice,” for the Texas law was clearly enacted not to make abortion safe, but to eliminate it altogether. That was clear from the questions asked by the justices during the hearing. Since the vast majority of abortions are effected by taking a pill, why do all centers require the same standards as ambulatory surgical center? Roe vs. Wade guaranteed a constitutional right to abortions, and it will not stand when states try to obviate that right with onerous restrictions.
Here’s the latest from KXAN in Texas:
AUSTIN (KXAN) — In a 5-3 vote, the Supreme Court strikes down the Texas abortion law, declaring it unconstitutional.
Texas’ abortion law known as House Bill 2, was passed by lawmakers in 2013. It requires abortion centers to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers like having large operating rooms, wide corridors, and doctors with admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic. Prior to the bill passing 41 clinics in Texas performed abortions, now just 19 are open.
Critics argue HB 2 made it harder for women to access a clinic for an abortion and for those who have to travel long distances it would lead women to wait until their second trimester to get an abortion.
Finally, this is what the Great State of Texas makes women go through who want an abortion:
RESTRICTIONS ON ABORTION:
In Texas, the following restrictions on abortion were in effect as of December 1, 2015:
- A woman must receive state-directed counseling that includes information designed to discourage her from having an abortion and then wait 24 hours before the procedure is provided.
- The use of telemedicine for the performance of medication abortion is prohibited.
- The parent of a minor must consent and be notified before an abortion is provided.
- Public funding is available for abortion only in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest.
- A woman must undergo an ultrasound before obtaining an abortion; the provider must show and describe the image to the woman. If the woman lives within 100 miles of an abortion provider she must obtain the ultrasound at least 24 hours before the abortion.
- An abortion may be performed at or after 20 weeks postfertilization (22 weeks after the woman’s last menstrual period) only if the woman’s life is endangered, her physical health is severely compromised or the pregnancy is “medically futile,” based on the spurious assertion that a fetus can feel pain at that point.