As the science of pre-born life continues to advance and reveal reality, so do the efforts by abortion providers to protect their industry.
In a 5-3 decision delivered on June 27, the U.S. Supreme Court found that a Texas law was unconstitutional because it placed an undue burden on women seeking abortions. The regulations in question were signed into law in 2013 and required providers and businesses performing abortions to have hospital admitting privileges and follow the same rules as outpatient surgical facilities across the state. The new law also prohibited providers from performing abortions after 20 weeks in pregnancy and added additional oversight to the RU-486 abortion process. The bill did not apply to abortions to save the life of the mother or abortions performed to prevent permanent injury to the mother.
The case was brought by a company that operates abortion clinics, which held the recent regulations placed on their business in the state of Texas would restrict a woman’s access to abortion.
The company providing abortions which brought the case contended the new regulations would create such a cost burden that abortion services in Texas would decrease as facilities would be forced to close, increasing the travel time for those planning an abortion. The fact the new regulations would ultimately limit access to abortion by increasing the time and expense for women seeking them was a key component for the justices voting to find the laws unconstitutional, who also considered the new process could ultimately delay abortions, making the 20-week ban restrictive.
Those opposed to abortion not only disagreed with the decision, but questioned the fact the case was brought not by women, but abortion providers and businesses. Other issues arose—for example, whether states will continue to be able to regulate abortion to protect maternal health, and whether access to abortion, even if at a substandard facility, meets the requirements of what is due to women?
The decision also raises another troubling question: is the Court’s standard moving from “prohibiting rules preventing access to abortion” to “a duty requiring the public to fund and facilitate access to abortion?”