(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. Supreme Court has decided that it will hear a case regarding how states regulate abortion clinics, accepting a cast that challenges multiple provisions of Texas state abortion law.
The Texas abortion law requires doctors who provide abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital and that abortion clinics meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical facilities. Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole criticizes that law, in part because the number of clinics would drop by 75 percent were the law upheld.
The clinics that would remain open are largely concentrated in urban centers.
Supporters of the law say that it makes abortions safer for women who choose to terminate a pregnancy, while critics say that there’s no proof of improved healthcare and limit access.
In June, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court’s decision and allowed the law to be put into effect. The Supreme Court had blocked the implementation of the law until it decided whether to hear the case.
In 1992, the Supreme Court ruled that states could impose some restrictions on abortion, provided they did not pose an undue burden on a woman’s access to the procedure.
Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights called the Supreme Court’s decision to hear the case “an important step toward restoring the constitutional rights of millions of women.” She called on the court to “reject the schemes of politicians who believe the Constitution and the court’s precedents do not apply to them.”
“Playing politics with women’s health isn’t just wrong,” Northup said, “it’s dangerous for many women who will have no safe and legal options left where they live, and may be forced to take matters into their own hands.”
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton called the measures the state has attempted to put into place “common-sense measures” that “elevate the standard of care and protect the health of Texas women.”
“The advancement of the abortion industry’s bottom line shouldn’t take precedent over women’s health,” Paxton added, “and we look forward to demonstrating the validity of these important health and safety requirements in Court.”
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