Supreme Court Opinion Rules Against Texas Abortion Law

Jun 27, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-3 opinion, overturned the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt, which relates to two provisions in a Texas abortion law, requiring that doctors have local admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and that abortion facilities have to meet the standards of outpatient surgery centers.

Only Justice Thomas would have upheld the abortion clinic regulations. Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito would have sent the case back to the lower court for further hearings. The case is very fact intensive and thus similar regulations in other states will continue to be litigated.

In his dissent, Justice Thomas quoted from a prior statement by the late Justice Antonin Scalia: "[Today's] decision exemplifies the Court’s troubling tendency 'to bend the rules when any effort to limit abortion, or even to speak in opposition to abortion, is at issue.' Stenberg v. Carhart, 530 U. S. 914, 954 (2000) (Scalia, J. dissenting)."

“How foolish a decision by the Supreme Court to strike down common sense regulations regarding health and safety,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “They expect us to believe their opinion is based on the Constitution? It certainly is not. This is a sad day and another dark chapter in the history of America. Women should not be relegated to substandard facilities in order to save abortion providers a few dollars.” 

Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.