Huff Post Politics
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court struck as unconstitutional part of a restrictive Texas statute that threatened to shutter half of the state’s remaining abortion clinics and deny millions of women the right to a safe abortion.
The ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt represents the most significant victory for abortion rights at the high court since the turn of the century, as states have scrambled to pass and defend similar laws across the country, seeking to chip away at the landmark Roe v. Wade.
That 1973 decision, refined by a conservative compromise in a 1992 case, established that the Constitution protects a woman’s right to end her pregnancy, but later rulings and conservative lobbying have given states leeway to craft abortion laws and regulations targeting not so much the right but those who facilitate it.
Writing for a 5-3 majority, Justice Stephen Breyer said the two Texas laws at issue in the case are unconstitutional.
“We conclude that neither of these provisions offers medical benefits sufficient to justify the burdens upon access that each imposes,” he wrote. “Each places a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking a previability abortion, each constitutes an undue burden on abortion access, and each violates the Federal Constitution.”
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