On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down several provisions from a Texas abortion law for being too burdening for abortion clinics and hindering women’s access to health care.
Abortion clinics in Texas said that they will reopen across the state. The law had reduced their numbers from 44 to 19. Yet, Texas lawmakers announced that they won’t give up the fight. They now plan to introduce a new law to put additional restrictions on the medical procedure.
Senator Charles Perry announced that the fight was far from over. He added that the state legislature will revisit the law to ensure that both mothers and their unborn children are safe.
It could take up to a year for new clinics to get all the approvals, under the Texas law. They need to reapply for licenses, find new medics or persuade the ones who left to come back. They’ll also have to find new locations. So, no one is expecting for the abortion clinics to get back on track overnight.
The U.S. top court ruled on a 5-to-3 vote that Texas restrictive measures on abortion clinics are unconstitutional. The measure forced abortion clinics to follow ambulatory surgical standards, while medics were required to have admitting privileges outside the clinics if they wanted to perform abortions.
Backers of the law said in 2013 that the new measures were set in place to protect women’s health. On the other hand, abortion clinics said that the measures were an “undue burden” on mothers’ rights to terminate their pregnancies.
Abortion facilities struggled to meet the new standards and only less than a half made it. As a result, more than two dozen clinics were closed, and Texas women were left with just 19 abortion facilities.
Some of women even had to drive 300 miles to reach an abortion clinic if they lived on the state’s western swath as they could get an abortion in just six cities.
But the U.S. top court said that Texas regulators failed to prove that the restrictive measures were of any benefit to women seeking an abortion.
Abortion clinics noted that in some cases women had to wait 20 days before they were allowed to have an abortion. So in the meantime, many of them changed their minds, while others were barred from the procedure because they had passed the legal time window to have an abortion.
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