While politicians argue about whether or not a Supreme Court justice should be appointed now or in 2017, very serious rulings are being handed down from a hung court. One such case is set to be looked at on March 2nd, and is the most important abortion rights cases to be seen by the Supreme Court in decades. The case going before the court is Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt and it seeks to outlaw Texas’ strict abortion laws which have shut down the majority of clinics in the state, making it all but impossible to safely terminate a pregnancy.
The case is looking at whether or not Texas’ strict laws impede the ruling from Roe v. Wade which requires that no law place an “undue burden” on women seeking abortions. Of course states all over the nation have challenged this wording, forcing women to undergo invasive ultrasounds and even see their fetus before termination in a sick attempt to guilt women into not aborting. These states claim that their unnessesary regulation is put in place in the interest in the health of women seeking abortions, but in places like Texas, these restrictions increase women’s waiting time and force them to travel long distances to obtain a safe abortion.
Texas’ regulations are particularly restricting as they target the clinics themselves, requiring that doctors at the clinics have specific admitting privileges at hospitals and forcing the clinics to undergo massive renovations which would make the clinics live up to hospital standards. Previous regulations in the state have reduced the number of clinics in Texas from 44 to 19. If the Supreme Court rules in favor of the law, or if there is a 4-4 tie, the restrictive laws will stand and reduce that number further to 9. `
As Vox points out in their extensive investigation and surveys, part of the problem is that the average American has been misled or under-educated about the details of abortion in America. In general, Americans believe that abortion is rarer, more dangerous, more complicated, and less well-regulated than it actually is. In actuality, most abortions are safer than a wisdom tooth removal, with many not requiring any sort of invasive or surgical methods.
Americans are also generally unaware that the Supreme Court will be ruling on this important abortion rights case as they are usually pretty unaware of the goings-ons of the high court. This ruling is so very important. If the Supreme Court upholds Texas’ strict laws, it could set a precedent for the rest of the nation and we would begin to see the same restrictive rules placed upon abortion providers nationwide. As has been proven before, this will not reduce the number of abortions as pro-lifers would love to see. We would just see the death of more women as they go to whatever lengths necessary to obtain an abortion, whether it be in a doctor’s office or a back alley. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Roe v. Wade so many years ago, and now it is time for them to defend it.