There's no need to spread a faulty Texas policy to the rest of the country, and the Supreme Court of the United States should say so.
TEXAS sent its top attorney to Washington, D.C., earlier this month to defend a bad law that could affect women of reproductive age across the country.
Thanks to the sensibilities of the female justices in particular, Solicitor General Scott Keller struggled to provide convincing answers to simple questions on why abortion care should be singled out for special restrictions compared to more risky procedures.
In the process, they lifted the veil on what’s really happening — a widespread effort by anti-abortion advocates throughout the country to chip away at a constitutional right they don’t like by pushing legislation claiming to protect women’s health.
Abortion opponents are creating an undue burden on Texas women, and the high court should say so in its final ruling. The Texas law, known as HB2, includes misguided provisions requiring abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. It also imposes unnecessary building standards designed to shutter existing clinics. Nearly half of about 40 clinics in Texas have already closed.
Putting up needless barriers forces women to wait or travel longer distances for help. In the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, a majority of the U.S. Supreme Court held that a woman has complete autonomy during the first trimester of her pregnancy, and allowed states to decide different rules for the second and third trimesters.
In this latest case known as Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, Justice Anthony Kennedy is the likely swing vote.
If the court ends up with a 4-4 ruling due to conservative Justice Antonin Scalia’s death, the Texas law would stand and possibly set a dangerous precedent.
Though Washington state voters have long supported a woman’s right to choose, that has not stopped a few socially conservative lawmakers from consistently attempting to propose anti-abortion bills in the state Legislature.
All this points to the importance of having every seat filled on the nine-person bench. The U.S. Senate Republican leadership needs to reconsider its refusal to consider President Obama’s forthcoming nominee — and instead give the candidate a full, earnest vetting.