After weeks of indecision, the Supreme Court has ruled on Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. The legislation in question, HB2, requires abortion clinics to obtain admitting privileges from local hospitals as well as meet building specifications - guidelines which would shutter dozens of abortion clinics in the state. The rule was upheld in a 5th circuit court. On Monday, however, the Supreme Court struck down the law in a 5-3 vote.
JUST IN: #SCOTUS strikes down Texas clinic law restricting abortion services.— NPR Politics (@nprpolitics) June 27, 2016
5-3 decision reverses 5th circuit decision.
This decision has national implications.
Ahead of the ruling, abortion rights groups argued the clinic restrictions placed an undue burden on women seeking abortions. Pro-life groups, however, say the bill was a commonsense way to ensure clinics are not subjecting patients to unsanitary conditions. Texas Right to Life has responded.
BREAKING: SCOTUS struck down Texas’ HB 2. Abortionists will continue to subject mothers to subpar conditions pic.twitter.com/p0gAz9uHuJ— Texas Right to Life (@TXRightToLife) June 27, 2016
SCOTUSblog offered a breakdown of the justices' individual decisions.
Only Justice Thomas would have upheld the Texas statute outright. Roberts and Alito would require greater analysis and findings.— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) June 27, 2016
As for Justice Anthony Kennedy, his vote to strike down Texas abortion regulations, in addition to his decision to uphold affirmative action last week, clearly indicates an ideological shift to the left.
This post has been updated.