SCOTUS Faces Texas Abortion RestrictionsPosted: September 4, 2015
Texas is over 700 miles across with a population of almost 28 million, yet there are few remaining family planning clinics after anti-choice legislators in the state passed a series of restrictive laws targeting reproductive health care providers. One of the anti-choice laws currently being debated threatens to close most of the remaining nine clinics. The debate reached new heights this week when the Center for Reproductive Rights took the case to the Supreme Court of the United States, pressing the justices to finally enter the battle on this hot-button issue. At stake are the rights and health of millions of women across the state.
Just five years ago, there were 46 abortion-providing clinics in Texas. But by the end of 2013, only 24 clinics were still open following new anti-choice restrictions. This stemmed from the passage of Texas’s HB 2 bill, which included two overtly stringent restrictions for family planning clinics. The remaining nine clinics are only still open because the Supreme Court put a hold on a lower court ruling that favored HB 2’s remaining restrictions. These clinics will stay open while the family planning clinics appeal their case.
With the state being so large, the closure of the family planning clinics has already prevented thousands of women from accessing fundamental care including affordable contraception prescriptions and cancer screenings. Over 5.4 million women in Texas are of reproductive age and the closure of these family planning clinics restricts them from accessing care in all but a few areas of the state. Often women have to travel hundreds of miles and/or cross state lines to get the care they need. With other anti-choice restrictions requiring multiple visits, it becomes virtually impossible for women outside major metropolitan areas to receive abortion care. Why do anti-choice legislators work so hard to deny rights to their own constituents?