The Supreme Court this morning struck down Texas abortion restrictions that had caused more than half of the state’s abortion clinics to close.
The decision was a win for abortion rights advocates, who say that state legislatures around the country have passed more than 200 restrictions on abortion in the last five years.
The challenged Texas provisions required doctors who perform abortions at clinics to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital and said that clinics must meet hospital-like standards of surgical centers.
Similar restrictions have been passed in other states, and officials say they protect patients. But abortion providers and medical associations say the rules are unnecessary and so expensive or hard to satisfy that they force clinics to close.
The justices were applying a test the court formulated nearly 25 years. It said states had a legitimate interest in regulating abortion procedures but could not make them so onerous as to impose an “undue burden” on a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy before fetal viability.
Included in the description of such a burden was “unnecessary health regulations that have the purpose or effect of presenting a substantial obstacle to a woman seeking an abortion.”
Read the actual ruling at The Supreme Court of the United States.
(c) 2016, The Washington Post · Robert Barnes