The U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down Texas abortion restrictions is a “tremendous win” for women, advocates say.
Local advocates of women’s health and reproductive rights on Monday hailed a U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down regulations that caused widespread closures of abortion clinics in Texas.
According to a Monday announcement, the court ruled 5-3 in favor of the challengers to the regulations, who had argued that the restrictions were a veiled attempt to make obtaining an abortion in the nation’s second-largest state more difficult.
“It is a tremendous win for women not only in Texas, but in Washington and certainly across the country,” said Elaine Rose, CEO of Planned Parenthood Votes of the Great Northwest and Hawaii.
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The rules required doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and forced clinics to meet stricter standards for outpatient surgery. As a result, many clinics closed, leaving an area the size of California without a single clinic that performed abortions.
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While the Washington state Legislature has not passed a law similar to the Texas restriction, lawmakers here have continued to push legislation designed to limit access to abortion, Rose said.
“I certainly do hope the decision has a chilling effect on these efforts, if for no other reason than these types of restrictions are unconstitutional and a waste of taxpayer dollars,” Rose said.
Others joined in praising the landmark decision.
“This case also brings into focus just how critical the November election is for protecting the basic constitutional rights of women across the country, including here in Washington state,” said Rachel Berkson, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Washington.
The high court’s decision comes on the heels of a June Skagit County Superior Court ruling reaffirming Washington state’s Reproductive Privacy Act, which requires public hospitals that offer maternity services to provide “substantially equivalent” abortion services.