US Supreme Court to hear Texas abortion access case

Create: 12/22/2015 - 22:48

The US Supreme Court announced in November that it will review Texas abortion legislation that severely limits the practice of abortion providers in the state. The 2013 state bill, HB 2, requires clinics to meet ambulatory surgical center requirements and for clinicians that provide abortions to have admitting rights at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic.The first requirement has been held pending appeal, but the admitting rights requirement is currently in effect. 

The US Supreme Court announced in November that it will review Texas abortion legislation that severely limits the practice of abortion providers in the state. The 2013 state bill, HB 2, requires clinics to meet ambulatory surgical center requirements and for clinicians that provide abortions to have admitting rights at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic.The first requirement has been held pending appeal, but the admitting rights requirement is currently in effect. 

The outcome of the case could determine whether additional clinics are forced to close, and whether the already significant wait times to obtain an abortion will continue to increase as a result. Women already have to wait up to 20 days for an appointment in certain areas of Texas. Researchers at the Texas Policy Evaluation Project anticipate that further delays could push many Texas women so far along into a pregnancy that they would no longer be eligible to obtain a legal abortion. It is anticipated that arguments in the case, Whole Women's Health v. Cole, will be heard in spring 2016. The court's ruling is expected by early summer.

References: 

Texas Policy Evaluation Project. (October 2015) Abortion Wait Times in Texas: The Shrinking Capacity of Facilities and the Potential Impact of Closing Non-ASC Clinics. 

Green E and Ford M. (November2015) A New Supreme Court Challenge: The Erosion of Abortion Access in Texas. The Atlantic.

Martin B. (December 2015) Not a pioneer on abortion restrictions, Texas nonetheless seen as a trendsetter. LA Times.

Photography:

Flickr/Steve Rainwater