Supreme Court Takes Up MONUMENTAL Abortion Case

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Rachel Stoltzfoos Staff Reporter
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The Supreme Court agreed to take up a challenge to a Texas abortion law Friday that could re-shape the legislative landscape in favor of the pro-life movement.

The law requires abortionists to have admitting privileges to a nearby hospital and requires clinics to meet surgical clinic standards, which opponents say would shut down more than half of the abortion clinics in Texas. Some of the clinics filed suit quickly after Republicans passed the law in 2013 on the grounds it places an “undue” burden on women’s access to abortion.

A federal appeals court upheld most of the law in June, siding with Texas lawmakers’ who argued the requirements are necessary to protect women’s health, and ruling they do not unduly restrict access to abortion. The Supreme Court has ruled the law cannot take effect until the suit is played out in the courts.

Think Progress referred to the Supreme Court’s decision to take up the case as “a greater threat to a woman’s right to choose an abortion than any other that the Court has heard in the last 23 years,” in a post immediately following Friday’s announcement. The Supreme Court has not ruled on abortion since 2007.

The pro-life movement has benefited from similar laws across the country that have dramatically reduced the number of abortion clinics in many states. The Supreme Court ruled in 1992 states may not unduly burden access to abortion, including with “unnecessary health regulations that have the purpose or effect of presenting a substantial obstacle to a woman seeking an abortion.”

Demand for abortions has dropped in nearly every state since 2010, and declined by about 12 percent nationwide, which pro-life activists attribute to these restrictive laws and pro-abortion activists attribute to fewer unplanned pregnancies.

“The advancement of the abortion industry’s bottom line shouldn’t take precedent over women’s health, and we look forward to demonstrating the validity of these important health and safety requirements in Court,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said Friday.

A ruling is expected in June, 2016, just ahead of the presidential election.

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