MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - The Supreme Court on Monday rejected Texas' widely replicated rules that sharply reduced abortion clinics in the state by a 5-3 vote.
The rules required doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and forced clinics to meet hospital-like standards for outpatient surgery. Clinics that challenged the law argued it was a veiled attempt to make it harder for women to get abortions by forcing the closure of more than half the clinics that operated before the law took effect.
“This is a big, big victory for women’s health," Sen. Al Franken said. "Every woman in our country has a constitutional right to make her own decisions about her health, family, and future—and the Supreme Court reaffirmed that today when it struck down a misguided Texas law that put restrictions on access to safe, legal abortion."
The decision allows all Texas clinics that are currently open to stay open, and also paves the way for more clinics to open or reopen in the future.
Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota (PPMNS) statement:
“Today the Court announced a strong and positive ruling that recognized that these laws do not enhance patient safety -- rather, they punish women by blocking access to safe, legal abortion. This landmark ruling is an enormous victory for women.
“Yet today’s victory does not undo the past five years of damage and restrictions already written into law. In Texas, thousands of women have gone without basic care such as cancer screenings and birth control because their closest health center was closed as a result of this law. Texas women also saw a rise in unintended pregnancies and researches estimate that up to 100,000 women have attempted to self-abort without medical assistance since the law was passed. These health outcomes were completely avoidable.
“Today’s victory doesn’t erase the negative impact the state legislature has had on women and we cannot forget that. No woman or doctor should be punished for receiving or providing essential medical care. We will continue to fight restrictions on safe, legal abortion on behalf of our patients. We will not be punished, and we will not go back."
NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota statement:
“Today is a victory for women’s health and rights. The Supreme Court rightfully rejected the deceptive Texas law and reaffirmed a woman’s constitutional right and ability to make her own decisions about her health care. This decision sends a message to the Minnesota legislature that similar laws proposed here will not withstand judicial scrutiny. However, we know that anti-choice extremists will continue to try to restrict a woman’s right to abortion, which is why our members will spend the next four months working to elect legislators who support access to safe, legal abortion.
“Also, this November, the Supreme Court is at stake, as the next president is likely to nominate multiple justices to the Court. The future of women’s health and rights hangs in the balance until then. It is critical that our next president support a woman’s constitutional right to make her own health care decisions.”
You can read a copy of the court’s opinion on Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt by clicking here.
The Associated Press contributed to this report