|(WASHINGTON, DC) JUNE 27, 2016: Today, SisterReach, along with women’s health organizations across the United States, applauds the Supreme Court decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. In 2013, Texas passed HB2, a sweeping measure that imposes numerous restrictions on access to abortion, including a requirement that abortion providers obtain admitting privileges at local hospitals and a requirement that every health care facility offering abortion services meet the same building specifications as ambulatory surgical centers – essentially becoming mini-hospitals.
Together, these requirements – opposed by leading medical groups including the AMA and ACOG – would force more than 75% of abortion clinics in Texas to close. Prior to the enactment of HB2, there were more than 40 facilities providing abortions dispersed throughout Texas. As of January 2016, that number has been whittled to 19.
The Supreme Court’s ruling, 5 to 3, to strike down Texas’ measures as unconstitutional will allow all Texas clinics currently open to stay open and paves the way for more clinics to open or reopen in the future. It also establishes a strong legal standard that will protect women’s access to abortion in states beyond Texas.
Today’s ruling reaffirms a woman’s constitutional right and ability – no matter where she lives—to make her own decisions about her health, family, and future.
” In Tennessee we are fighting similar legislation such as 48-hour waiting periods, abstinence-based sex education, and increasingly onerous fiscal reporting requirements for clinics. In Texas, we have already seen these laws create higher costs, longer delays and extra steps for poor women and women of color seeking an abortion. It is easy to conclude that these same issues will impact women of color in Tennessee as our legislature continues to attempt the passage of laws targeting abortion providers.
Today’s Supreme Court’s decision provides an impact that will be useful in defeating similar unnecessarily restrictive laws already in place in Tennessee. The fight to protect abortion access does not end today—this is just the first step in dismantling hundreds of medically unnecessary laws aimed at making it harder for women to exercise their rights,” says Giovanni Dortch, Policy Associate, SisterReach.