House Bill 2 has been a favorite target of pro-abortion supporters because its strict standards have shuttered about half of the abortion clinics in Texas. The legislation has withstood the attacks thus far, yet it now faces its biggest challenge yet. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments over the law's specifics in Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole, accepting its first abortion case since 2007.
Up for debate are two provisions: one that asks abortion clinics to operate as surgical centers and another that requires abortionists to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital. Critics say these regulations are unfair to Texas women and their reproductive rights.
In the case, the justices will determine whether a two-year-old law in Texas poses an “undue burden” on women’s legal right to terminate a pregnancy. That standard was set during the landmark 1992 ruling on Planned Parenthood v. Casey, and abortion opponents are hoping to change nearly 25 years of precedent.
You may remember State Senator Wendy Davis' 11-hour filibuster against the pro-life bill in the summer of 2013, which inspired thousands of pro-abortion protesters to storm Austin's Capitol building. Their demands, however, went nowhere. The legislation passed, Gov. Rick Perry signed it into law and it has since saved thousands of unborn babies.
Nevertheless, that doesn't mean its opponents have given up. With the green light from the judiciary, they see new hope to tear down the pro-life bill.
The Court will decide this case next June, just a few months before the 2016 presidential election.