Supreme Court Strikes Down Texas Abortion Law

Gabrielle Klemt - 1B Geological
Posted on: July 2, 2016

Last week, the US Supreme Court struck down a new Texan law restricting access to abortions for people in the state. You may have heard something about this because it is the biggest win for abortion rights fighters since Planned Parenthood vs. Casey in 1992. Yes, that’s right, since 1992 the States have really only been increasing the amount of restrictions on abortions.

The laws which were struck down would have reduced the amount of abortion clinics leaving them only in metropolitan areas, making it unlikely that those living away from large cities would be able to get an abortion even if they really wanted to. Abortions have always been a touchy subject, especially in the state of Texas where a large religious population sees the act as going against what they stand for theologically. Many parents, especially in more rural areas, are believers of this and it’s hard to imagine a young teenager trying to convince her parents to take her into the nearest big city, who knows how far away it might be, to let her undergo a procedure they believe to be against their religion.

The two laws, one which requires abortion clinics to be certified as ambulatory surgical centres and one which required doctors to gain admitting privileges at a local hospital, were deemed unconstitutional in a 5-to-3 vote. It was decided that these laws placed an “undue burden” on women seeking abortions, wouldn’t protect women’s health. Additionally, all those clinics which could not immediately meet the demands of the laws would have been forced to close, seriously restricting access to abortions.

23 other states are currently trying to implement the first of these two laws, while 10 have already implemented the second and six of those ten are already facing lawsuits. While the win for women’s rights in Texas does not necessarily mean that these laws are officially unconstitutional in all states, it will no doubt help the campaigns against them and perhaps force a victory for the abortion rights side.

The US has long been in a battle to gain equal abortion rights for all women. In fact, since the big win in 1973 establishing abortions as a constitutional right, men and women have been fighting to see improvement in access and quality. It can only be hoped that this win will force real change and, if not a switch in perception, then maybe a more tolerant and accepting view of abortions throughout the States.