Supreme Court Hearing May Shut Down Abortion Clinics
The Supreme Court will be making a decision regarding the addition of new restrictions for abortion clinics. If they pass, many will be forced to shut down, greatly decreasing the number of clinics and taking away women's access. Abortion is a difficult topic for all, but it is a legal procedure that all women have the right to. States are allowed to put restrictions on clinics but nothing that would create an "undue burden" for women.
At issue is Texas’s House Bill 2, which passed in 2013 and imposed two new restrictions. It said all abortion clinics must meet the standards of ambulatory surgical centers, and all abortion providers must have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic. The two combined, if allowed to stand, would cut the number of abortion clinics in Texas from 40 to 10 or fewer. If that happens, hundreds of thousands of women will live hours away from the nearest clinic.
It doesn’t seem like a difficult case for the Supreme Court if it follows its own precedent. The court ruled in 1992, in Casey vs. Planned Parenthood, that states could impose some restrictions on abortion but not if they posed an “undue burden” – defined as a “substantial obstacle” – on women.
Abortion is a difficult and polarizing topic. It is also legal. So stymied state legislators continually look for a way to sneak past Roe v. Wade. This is their latest effort, and it’s a model North Carolina will likely follow if the high court gives Texas the green light. Anyone who wants to keep abortion safe and legal should hope the court gets it right.