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US Supreme Court overturns Texas law regulating abortion clinics

June 27, 2016

By a 5-3 vote, the US Supreme Court has overturned a state law that imposed health regulations on abortion clinics in Texas.

In the decision, announced June 27, the Court majority ruled that the regulations enacted in Texas were not prompted by concern for the health of pregnant women, but by an unconstitutional desire to limit access to legal abortion. 

The Texas law had required that abortionists have admitting privileges at local hospitals, and that abortion clinics adhere to the same standards ordinarily required for outpatient surgery. Writing for the Supreme Court majority, Justice Stephen Breyer said that the law "provides few, if any, health benefits for women." 

Responding on behalf of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Deirdre McQuade said: "The Court has rejected a common-sense law protecting women from abortion facilities that put profit above patient safety." She continued:

The law simply required abortion facilities to meet the same health and safety standards as other ambulatory surgical centers-- standards like adequate staffing, soap dispenser, and basic sanitary conditions. It required abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, and that hallways be wide enough to allow emergency personnel through with stretchers, should a life-threatening emergency arise.

 
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  • Posted by: jalsardl5053 - Jun. 27, 2016 8:45 PM ET USA

    We now have the final word: abortion at any cost to woman and child. The Supreme Court has just given a pass to a surgical procedure that need not require the standard conditions for surgical procedures. Worse, they have made the decision based on their interpretation of MOTIVE rather than the actual words of the law! Jefferson was right re an unbridled judiciary and it is the ultimate Achilles heel of the American Republic.

  • Posted by: james-w-anderson8230 - Jun. 27, 2016 8:03 PM ET USA

    Maybe "provides few, if any, health benefits for women." is the key to rewriting the law. Add requirements to provide independent 3rd party follow up by licensed medical and psychological personnel.