Posted on January 5, 2016 Issues: Abortion Health Care & Reproductive Rights

(Washington, D.C.) Yesterday, the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) and law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett submitted an amicus brief on behalf of 48 organizations in the Supreme Court case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole. This case challenges parts of Texas’s clinic shutdown law, known as H.B. 2, which imposes medically unnecessary, burdensome requirements on abortion providers and clinics. If the law is upheld, all but 10 clinics in the second largest state in the country will be forced to close, threatening women’s ability to make personal decisions about their lives and health.

In this case, the Supreme Court will consider the question of whether states can skirt constitutional protections by making it virtually impossible for women to get an abortion. The Court has said that the Constitution protects a woman’s right to make her own decisions about her health and family and held that states may not impose an undue burden on that right.

The NWLC brief argues that restrictions like those being challenged in this case impose substantial costs on women, making it difficult or even impossible for many women to exercise their right to decide whether to have an abortion. These costs undercut women’s economic security, equality, and opportunity.

The following statement is from Marcia D. Greenberger, Co-President of the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC):

“Women’s economic security, equality, and health are on the line in this case. More than half of reproductive health clinics in Texas have closed since this restrictive law passed in 2013. This means that too many women in Texas—and especially low-income women—are already facing significant costs to obtain an abortion. And for many, these costs are insurmountable and they are simply going without the care they need. These closures—caused by the restrictions—and the burdens they place on women’s ability to decide whether to carry a pregnancy to term threaten women’s financial well-being, job security, educational attainment, and health. Almost forty-three years after the Supreme Court guaranteed women the right to an abortion, the Court should reaffirm women’s ability to make these most personal decisions about their lives, health, and futures.”

NWLC legal experts are available to discuss the broader implications of this case on women’s economic security and health. To schedule an interview, please email Maria Patrick ([email protected]).

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Maria Patrick: [email protected] or (202) 588-5180

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