The Supreme Court struck down oppressive abortion laws in Texas on Monday morning, ending a long battle for women’s reproductive rights in the state.
Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt challenged HB2, a restrictive women’s health bill in the state that would have resulted in at least 32 of the states 40 women’s health clinics shutting down. The court ruled to uphold a lower court decision in a 5-3 ruling.
“There was no significant health-related problem that the new law helped to cure,” Justice Stephen Breyer wrote in the majority opinion. “We agree with the District Court that the surgical-center requirement, like the admitting-privileges requirement, provides few, if any, health benefits for women, poses a substantial obstacle to women seeking abortions, and constitutes an ‘undue burden’ on their constitutional right to do so.”
“When a State severely limits access to safe and legal procedures, women in desperate circumstances may resort to unlicensed rogue practitioners, faute de mieux, at great risk to their health and safety,” wrote Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in a brief concurring opinion.
The ruling is a huge victory for women’s reproductive and health rights across the country as many other Republican strongholds are trying to pass similar laws that result in clinics being shut down in a move to stop abortion.
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton sent out a tweet immediately praising the court’s decision.
“SCOTUS’s decision is a victory for women in Texas and across America. Safe abortion should be a right—not just on paper, but in reality. -H”