The Supreme Court’s ruling against Texas is putting anti-choice politicians on notice all across the country.
Monday’s landmark Supreme Court ruling to strike down a set of restrictions on abortion clinics passed in Texas is already having far-reaching implications — helping to strike down laws in other states, too.
The great flaw of the Texas law (and others like it, which among other things required doctors at abortion clinics to have full admitting privileges at nearby hospitals) was one of fundamental dishonesty: While legally arguing that the bills were necessary in order to maintain safety and quality in medical care, their only real purpose was simply to regulate abortion out of existence altogether.
“We have found nothing in Texas’ record evidence that shows that, compared to prior law (which required a “working arrangement” with a doctor with admitting privileges), the new law advanced Texas’ legitimate interest in protecting women’s health,” Justice Stephen Breyer wrote in the majority opinion. “We add that, when directly asked at oral argument whether Texas knew of a single instance in which the new requirement would have helped even one woman obtain better treatment, Texas admitted that there was no evidence in the record of such a case.”
In a statement Tuesday, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards said the fight only goes forward from here.
“This decision has opened the door to go state by state, legislature by legislature, law by law, and restore access to safe, legal abortion,” Richards said. “These unconstitutional laws punish women by blocking safe medical care — and they will not stand. We will not stop fighting until every person can make their own personal medical decisions about abortion — no matter who they are, or where they live.”
And so on Tuesday, the Court also turned away appeals against similar laws in Mississippi — where their statute would’ve closed the last remaining abortion clinic in the state — as well as in Wisconsin, where state Attorney General Brad Schimel (R) said the Court’s decision today was “not surprising.”
But even before that, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange (R) had already announced on Monday that his office was simply giving up efforts to defend his state’s similar laws.
Strange explained it in a rather, um, normal fashion: “The Texas law which was declared unconstitutional is nearly identical to an Alabama abortion clinic law currently under legal challenge. While I disagree with the high court’s decision, there is no good faith argument that Alabama’s law remains constitutional in light of the Supreme Court ruling.”
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)