WASHINGTON (AP/KXAN) — The Supreme Court has struck down Texas’ widely replicated regulation of abortion clinics in the court’s biggest abortion case in nearly a quarter century.
The justices voted 5-3 Monday in favor of Texas clinics that protested the regulations as a thinly veiled attempt to make it harder for women to get an abortion in the nation’s second-most populous state.
Justice Stephen Breyer’s majority opinion for the court held that the regulations are medically unnecessary and unconstitutionally limit a woman’s right to an abortion.
Texas had argued that its 2013 law and subsequent regulations were needed to protect women’s health. The rules required doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and forced clinics to meet hospital-like standards for outpatient surgery.
Critics argue HB 2 made it harder for women to access a clinic for an abortion and for those who have to travel long distances it would lead women to wait until their second trimester to get an abortion.
“If the Supreme Court shuts down this dangerous law, it will create a pathway for more clinics to reopen in communities that don’t have an abortion provider and it will send a strong message to anti-abortion politicians that they can’t attack access to health care in the way that they’ve done recently,” says Zoey Lichtenheld, NARAL Pro-Choice Texas.