The law of the land is women have a right to choose.
The Supreme Court on Monday struck down critical provisions of a Texas abortion law that had forced half of the state’s abortion clinics to close and threatened half of the remaining 20 clinics with closure. The sweeping ruling means similar laws in dozens of other states now are likely unconstitutional. Here is the status of access to legal abortion across the states.
The court struck down two important provisions in the Texas law, passed in the name of women’s health, but which major medical groups have said do not improve patient safety. One provision required stand-alone clinics, even those that perform only first-term abortions, to meet the standards of walk-in surgery clinics. The second required that doctors who perform abortions have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.
The Supreme Court said both provisions placed an “undue burden” on women seeking an abortion. The law had proved difficult and expensive for clinics, and nearly 20 have closed since the admitting-privileges requirement was allowed to go into effect. The ambulatory surgery standard could have caused 10 more clinics to close, leaving only about 10 remaining in Texas. The court said that the closings would result in substantial increases in distance to clinics for many women, a crucial factor in creating an unconstitutional obstacle to abortion.
The state laws have helped create vastly different levels of access to abortion across the country.