Today the Supreme Court will hear arguments for Whole Women’s Health v. Cole
This will determine access to abortion for millions of women.
The petitioners in Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole claim a Texas law enacted in 2013 would force about 75 percent of the state’s abortion services to close. Two provisions in the law require that doctors at clinics have hospital admitting privileges within 30 miles of the clinics, and that clinics have facilities equal to those of an outpatient surgical center. Texas officials believe the laws protect the health of the women seeking abortions by guaranteeing better care.
The Supreme Court will decide two issues. First, it will look at if the appeals court properly handled a question about if the new restrictions would actually work to protect the health of women. The appeals court said it needed to defer to the Texas state legislature on that issue.
The second question is a broader one. The Court must decide it the law imposes an undue burden on women who seek abortions. The Court last ruled on this question in a 1992 decision, Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, which reaffirmed the Roe v. Wade decision of 1973.