SCOTUS Strikes Down Texas Abortion Clinic Law

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Texas’ notorious law which threatened to close most of the state’s abortion clinics is no more.

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a five-to-three decision, struck down Texas’ House Bill 2, signed into law by then-governor Rick Perry in 2013, which imposed a number of new regulations on facilities which provide abortion procedures.

Of the most contentious provisions, HB2 two required abortion clinics to acquire admitting privileges to local hospitals within 30 miles.

It also required clinics to comply with standards already in place for ambulatory surgical centers.

Proponents of HB2 say the measures were necessary to improve the standards of care, health, and safety for women seeking an abortion.

Opponents argued HB2 made unreasonable and prohibitively expensive demands of abortion clinics, which they say present an undue burden.

The Supreme Court agreed with HB2 opponents and issued its ruling against it Monday.

“We are extremely pleased with the Supreme Court’s decision,”said Texas ACLU Executive Director Terri Burke in a statement issued Monday.

“State legislatures around the country have passed hundreds of anti-abortion measures since 1973 and Texas lawmakers have been responsible for more than 18 of those. They’ve forced women to undergo unnecessary ultrasounds, face mandatory delays and make extra, unnecessary visits to medical clinics that in many cases were hundreds of miles away.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton criticized Monday’s ruling. “Hb2 was an effort to improve minimum safety standards and ensure capable care for texas women. It’s exceedingly unfortunate that the court has taken the ability to protect women’s health out of the hands of texas citizens and their duly-elected representatives,” said Paxton in a statement.

HB2 threatened to shut down of almost all clinics in the state which provide abortion services.

Monday’s decision draws on a 1992 abortion rights ruling which says states cannot impose what the court calls an “undue burden” on a woman’s right to procure an abortion.