With the recent release of several gruesome videos featuring abortion giant Planned Parenthood’s efforts to sell the parts of precious babies who were aborted, the issue of abortion is hotter than it has been in awhile.
In fact, the Supreme Court has not heard a major abortion case since 2007, but it recently announced that a challenge to key parts of a 2013 Texas abortion law will be heard soon, according to CNN.
Supporters of the Texas law contend that it is designed to protect women’s health by requiring that abortion clinics and doctors adhere to requirements that other medical providers are subject to.
One challenged provision requires abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, so as to provide a clean, safe place for the procedure. Another similar provision requires abortion clinics to maintain hospital-like facilities.
Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative group, said in a statement that the requirements of Texas’ law are “common-sense protections that ensure the maximum amount of safety for women.
“Abortionists should not be exempt from medical requirements that everyone else is required to follow,” the group added.
Pro-choice advocates disagreed, arguing that this particular law was one of the strictest abortion laws in the nation, as it would significantly reduce the number of available abortion clinics in the state. Because many abortion clinics and doctors would be unable to adhere to the mandated standards, the opponents claim that the law was not really about health and safety, but rather a disguised attempt to put an end to abortion.
Amy Hagstrom Miller, who owns and operates four clinics in Texas, was the lead plaintiff in the case and was represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights.
She said the provisions have “the purpose or effect of placing a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion,” which the Court has previously ruled makes a law invalid.
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“There’s an undue burden when women have to drive 250 miles one way, take off two days of work and get child care in order to have a procedure that is protected by the Constitution,” she told CNN.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton countered and said that the provisions “raise the standard of care for all abortion patients” and will “improve the health and safety of women.”
SCOTUS has recognized that states have a legitimate interest in protecting the health of a woman and that the law “ensures doctors are qualified, promotes continuity of care in the case of complications that require hospitalization, and reduces communication errors and time delays when a patient must be treated at a hospital,” according to Paxton.
Although it isn’t quite the reversal of Roe v. Wade that pro-life advocates are hoping for, it is one more step toward making sure that abortionists are held to proper standards.
The Court’s decision on the challenged will likely come down sometime next spring or early summer. Other states have similar legislation currently making its way through the lower courts.
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