Monday, June 27, 2016

Supreme Court Invalidates Texas Abortion Access Law

In a 5-3 decision today in Whole Women's Health v. Hellerstedt, (Sup. Ct., June 27, 2016), the U.S. Supreme Court struck down key provisions in Texas' controversial statute regulating access to abortions.  The majority opinion, written by Justice Breyer, held that both the requirement for a physician performing an abortion to have admitting privileges in a near-by hospital and for abortion clinics to meet standards that apply to ambulatory surgical centers place a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking a pre-viability abortion and place an undue, unconstitutional burden on abortion access. Justices Kennedy, Ginsburg, Sotomayor and Kagan joined Justice Breyer's opinion. Justice Ginsburg also filed a concurring opinion. Justice Thomas filed a dissenting opinion. Justice Alito also filed a dissenting opinion which Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Thomas joined.