Today, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, the most important abortion rights case to go before the Supreme Court since Roe v. Wade. The decision in this case, challenging the 2013 Texas law known as HB2, will impact women across the country and could redefine Americans’ access to abortion for decades to come. Megan Amundson, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, issued the following statement:
“The law in question in the Whole Woman’s Health case, requiring abortion clinics to undergo costly and medically unnecessary building renovations and requiring doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, was passed with the solitary goal of shutting down abortion clinics. Women receive no health benefit from these types of regulations. Instead, these laws harm women by forcing clinics that provide necessary health care, including abortion, to shut down.
“The decision in Whole Woman’s Health will impact millions of women in Texas and set a precedent for other states that have passed similar laws or are considering similar bills, including Massachusetts. Last year a similar bill was filed in the Massachusetts State Legislature with the intent of shutting down abortion providers across the Commonwealth by creating medically unnecessary and costly restrictions only for doctors providing abortion.
“A right in theory is not a right, and far too many women are unable to access the abortion care they need. Massachusetts is playing a critical role in supporting abortion access and encouraging the Supreme Court to strike down this dangerous law. Massachusetts residents added their names to many friend of the court briefs, including Attorney General Maura Healey, six sitting and former Republican elected officials, the City of Boston, and individual women who themselves have had abortions, which allowed them to pursue successful careers. Massachusetts is taking the lead in demanding that the Supreme Court strike down this unconstitutional restriction on abortion access and paving the way to expand access to abortion care for millions of women across the country.”