Supreme Court Strikes Down Texas Abortion Restrictions in Major Win for Abortion Rights

Supreme Court Strikes Down Texas Abortion Restrictions in Major Win for Abortion Rights
Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of abortion rights groups Monday, striking down a Texas law that imposed restrictions on abortion providers in the state which forced the vast majority of clinics to close.

The 5-3 ruling in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt is a major win for abortion rights.

It struck down a Texas law, called HB2, saying it placed an "undue burden" on women seeking abortions in the state.

HB2 created stricter standards both for doctors performing the procedure and the clinics that offer abortions, and was projected to ultimately shutter three-quarters of the state's abortion clinics. 

Abortion rights groups said the law was specifically written to shutter clinics and thwart women's access to obtain legal abortions, a right granted by the landmark Roe v. Wade case.

The state's Department of Health, led by Dr. John Hellerstedt, argued the law was intended to protect the safety of women seeking abortions.

But in a scathing opinion, Justice Stephen Breyer wrote that Texas provided no evidence that the law "would have helped even one woman obtain better treatment."

Abortion rights groups hailed the decision as a win for women.

"Today's landmark Supreme Court decision is a victory for women everywhere, reaffirming our right to make our own reproductive health care decisions no matter where we live," Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY's List — a group that backs women candidates for elected office who support abortion rights — said in an email. "Extremist Republicans like Donald Trump should take note. Women are paying attention and you'll be hearing our voices loud and clear come November."

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton also praised the ruling in a series of tweets:

However, Clinton added that despite the ruling, "the fight isn't over" for reproductive rights.

"The next president has to protect women's health," Clinton tweeted. "Women won't be 'punished' for exercising their basic rights."

Read more:
• What to Know About the Supreme Court's Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt Abortion Case
• Women at Abortion Clinics Are Being Sent GPS-Activated Anti-Abortion Ads
• 'Across the Line' Uses Virtual Reality to Put Viewers in Abortion Patients' Shoes

Correction: June 27, 2016
An earlier version of this article misrepresented how many abortion clinics in Texas have closed due to HB2. The law was projected to shut down three-quarters of the state's clinics, and about half had already shut their doors before Monday's ruling.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Emily C. Singer

Emily C. Singer, née Cahn, is a senior writer for Mic covering politics. She is based in New York and can be reached at esinger@mic.com

MORE FROM

20 attorneys general writurge Betsy DeVos to keep sexual assault protections

The attorneys general reminded DeVos that scrapping Title IX guidance will have a chilling effect on sexual assault and rape reporting rates.

New study suggests high workloads and aging doctor population means looming OB-GYN shortage

Obstetricians and gynecologists are overworked at nearing retirement age — without a younger contingent to replace them.

Why pro-life doctors want the First Amendment to protect their right to lie to patients

Crisis pregnancy centers believe they should be exempt from a law saying they should inform patients about all their medical options, including abortions.

‘Brown Girls’ wants to tell women of color’s stories in all their messy, complicated glory

Creators Fatimah Asghar and Sam Bailey want to let their characters break free of the neat identity categories people are wont to place them in.

One woman living in R Kelly’s alleged “sex cult” says everything is fine. That doesn’t mean it is.

Jocelyn Savage says she's "happy" and "totally fine" in her arrangement with R. Kelly. Experts say that's common behavior among abuse survivors.

Black women warned us about R Kelly's behavior for years. Was nobody listening?

Black women and girls have been telling people for years about the singer's behavior. And yet too few people have deigned to listen.

20 attorneys general writurge Betsy DeVos to keep sexual assault protections

The attorneys general reminded DeVos that scrapping Title IX guidance will have a chilling effect on sexual assault and rape reporting rates.

New study suggests high workloads and aging doctor population means looming OB-GYN shortage

Obstetricians and gynecologists are overworked at nearing retirement age — without a younger contingent to replace them.

Why pro-life doctors want the First Amendment to protect their right to lie to patients

Crisis pregnancy centers believe they should be exempt from a law saying they should inform patients about all their medical options, including abortions.

‘Brown Girls’ wants to tell women of color’s stories in all their messy, complicated glory

Creators Fatimah Asghar and Sam Bailey want to let their characters break free of the neat identity categories people are wont to place them in.

One woman living in R Kelly’s alleged “sex cult” says everything is fine. That doesn’t mean it is.

Jocelyn Savage says she's "happy" and "totally fine" in her arrangement with R. Kelly. Experts say that's common behavior among abuse survivors.

Black women warned us about R Kelly's behavior for years. Was nobody listening?

Black women and girls have been telling people for years about the singer's behavior. And yet too few people have deigned to listen.