The Supreme Court on Monday ruled against a Texas abortion access law, a ruling which is a victory to supporters of abortion rights as the law would have closed many abortion clinics in the state.
The Justices spoke about their rulings on the law.
“There was no significant health-related problem that the new law helped to cure. We agree with the District Court that the surgical-center equipment, like the admitting privileges requirement, provides few, if any, health benefits for women, poses a substantial obstacle to women seeking abortions, and constitutes and ‘undue burden’ on their constitutional right to do so,” wrote Justice Stephen Breyer. In his writing, he was joined in full by Justice Anthony Kennedy. Kennedy was considered the swing vote on the abortion issue.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg weighted in on the subject, writing that “When the State severely limits access to safe and legal procedures, women in desperate circumstances may resort to unlicensed rogue practitioners, faute de mieux, at great risk to their health and safety.”
Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito both wrote dissents.
“The Court has simultaneously transformed judicially created rights like the right to abortion into preferred constitutional rights, while disfavoring many of the rights actually enumerated in the Constitution,” wrote Thomas.
Alito’s dissent was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts.
“The Court favors petitioners with a victory that they did not have the audacity to seek.”
The ruling has already become a point of discussion for politicians and organizations.
Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott condemned the ruling.
“The decision erodes States’ lawmaking authority to safeguard the health and safety of women and subjects more innocent life to being lost,” he stated. “Texas’ goal is to protect innocent life, while ensuring the highest health and safety standards for women.”
The 5-3 decision is the most notable abortion decision made by the Supreme Court in two decades. This could prevent other states from trying to pass “clinic shutdown” laws.