Abortion Supreme Court Decision

June 27, 2016

Recent Supreme Court Decision on Abortion

Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt

Please note. We are not expressing an opinion on this ruling. We simply want to provide the service of letting our readers know about this important case.

Supreme Court Abortion Opinion

The Supreme Court handed down its most recent decision relating to abortion.

On June 27, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled against provisions of a Texas law relating to abortion. The case is Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.

The Texas Law

Texas amended its laws relating to abortion in 2013. Included among the changes were two new requirements: and admitting privileges requirement and a minimum standards requirement. Quoting the Supreme Court those provisions were:

  1. A physician performing or inducing an abortion … must, on the date [of service], have active admitting privileges at a hospital…located not further than 30 miles from the abortion facility.
  2. Abortion facilities are required to meet minimum standards…for ambulatory surgical centers under Texas law.

The Ruling

In response to the challenge to these provisions, the Supreme Court held, “that neither of these provisions offers medical benefits sufficient to justify the burdens upon access that each imposes. Each places a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking a previability abortion, each constitutions an undue burden on abortion access, and each violates the Federal Constitution.”

Justice Breyer, who drafted the Opinion wrote, “There was no significant health-related problem that the new law helped to cure.”  Further, Justice Breyer wrote, that both requirements, “pose a substantial obstacle to women seeking abortions, and constitutes an undue burden on their constitutional right to do so.”

Similar Laws in Other States

Given this opinion, is is very likely that any similar laws in other states will also be held Unconstitutional should they be brought before the Court. In fact, the Justices will likely act tomorrow (Tuesday, June 28) on two similar laws from Mississippi and Wisconsin.

Further Analysis

For further analysis, we recommend the SCOTUSblog, which provides detailed information on all Supreme Court cases.





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