SCOTUS rules 5-3 against health and safety standards of HB 2

The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled against the reasonable health and safety standards of the Pro-Life Omnibus Bill of the 2013 Legislative Session

Washington, D.C. – June 27, 2016: The Supreme Court of the United States has denied Texas the right to protect women by enforcing crucial health and safety standards on the abortion industry.  The majority 5-3 ruling strikes down two provisions of House Bill 2, the Pro-Life Omnibus Bill of the 2013 Legislative Session, which require abortion mills to operate as Ambulatory Surgical Centers (ASCs) and which require abortionists to possess hospital admitting privileges within a 30-mile radius of the abortion mill before committing abortions.

The plaintiff’s case tenuously argued that these provisions constituted an undue burden to abortion access.  SCOTUS’ ruling addressed this claim, saying, “We conclude that neither of these provisions offers medical benefits sufficient to justify the burdens upon access that each imposes.”  Justice Clarence Thomas and Justice Samuel Alito each authored opinions dissenting from the majority opinion.  Chief Justice John Roberts also joined Justice Alito’s dissent.  Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Anthony Kennedy, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan comprised the majority.

The provisions in question were designed to ensure women undergoing abortions had access to medical treatment in the event of botched abortions and medical emergencies – which are well-documented realities of the abortion industry in Texas.  Today’s ruling strikes down lower court rulings in which judges found the provisions of HB 2 to be constitutional and necessary to the health and safety of Texas women seeking abortions.  As a result, the abortion mills currently operating throughout the state will remain in business.

Because the abortion industry never challenged the provision of HB 2 which protects pain-capable preborn children from excruciating dismemberment abortions from 20 weeks gestation, a measure on the 2013 Priority Pro-Life Legislative Agenda, spearheaded by Texas Right to Life, that provision remains in effect.

Texas Right to Life Legislative Director John Seago stated:

Having exploited all avenues in Texas to dismantle the constitutional and solidly-constructed Pro-Life Omnibus Bill of the 2013 Legislative Session, House Bill 2, abortion zealots ultimately appealed to the Supreme Court.  The sensible women’s health legislation of HB 2 was crafted to provide a crucial layer of defense against the predatory and profit-driven antics of Big Abortion.  The Court failed women and preborn children this morning.  Indeed, the only party which will benefit from today’s majority decision is the abortion industry, which exploits every means available to leech profit from abortion clients.  Texas played a key role in the catastrophic Supreme Court ruling which first legalized abortion in 1973, and our work in Texas is far from finished.  We look with hope and determination toward our Priority Legislation for the 85th Session of the Texas Legislature, where we plan to continue the trend of blazing the state-by-state path toward the ultimate triumph of Life of our nation.

For a detailed commentary from John Seago, review this video.