SCOTUS Rules against Health and Safety Standards for Abortion Facilities

States’ Rights Restricted in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt


DATE: Monday, June 27, 2016     PHONE: 614-547-0099 ext. 304

Washington, D.C.—Today, in a 5-3 decision, the Supreme Court ruled against two Texas abortion regulations which were challenged in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. The decision, which included swing-vote Justice Anthony Kennedy, overturns the Fifth Circuit decision permitting Texas to enforce the state’s health and safety regulations for ambulatory surgical facilities.

“In keeping with the dangerous, activist precedent created by Roe, this ruling tramples a state’s right to safely regulate abortion facilities and protect the health and safety of women and children,” said Mike Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life. “With the tragic passing of Justice Antonin Scalia, today’s decision underlines the grave importance of just one Supreme Court appointment and possibly three appointments that will be left to the next President of the United States.”

The two restrictions considered in today’s decision were passed in Texas H.B. 2 in 2013. The restrictions required the following: an abortionist must have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic and all facilities performing abortions must meet the standards of other ambulatory surgical facilities. The Texas regulations are different from the regulations Ohio Right to Life advocated for in Ohio in 2013. Ohio’s law is a neutral regulation that requires all ambulatory surgical facilities to secure a transfer agreement with a local hospital.

“Today’s victors are the Kermit Gosnells of the abortion industry who will continue to defy the standards of the traditional medical community, jeopardizing the lives and health of women and children,” said Gonidakis. “This decision is a dangerous precursor to the types of decisions we would see with a pro-abortion Clinton appointee on the Court. Pro-life Americans must continue to play a role in electing pro-life leaders who will support pro-life judges and turn back this tide of abortion-on-demand.”

A third provision of Texas H.B. 2 that went unchallenged was the state’s Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. Ohio Right to Life will continue to advance this legislation in the state of Ohio throughout the summer and fall of 2016.

Founded in 1967, Ohio Right to Life, with more than 45 chapters and local affiliates, is Ohio’s oldest and largest grassroots pro-life organization. Recognized as the flagship of the pro-life movement in Ohio, ORTL works through legislation and education to promote and defend innocent human life from conception to natural death. 



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