It’s been one year since the SCOTUS landmark ruling that determined that the government does not get to create unrealistic and ridiculous rules for abortion providers or halt access to abortion. Last year’s victory in Whole Woman’s Health v Hellerstedt is truly something to be celebrated because of what it means for women, families, and abortion access across our country. Our friends at Planned Parenthood have summed up what this really means for us.
In the landmark Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt case on June 27, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that two abortion restrictions in Texas are unconstitutional because they would shut down most clinics in the state and cause an “undue burden” for Texas women to access safe, legal abortion. The case exposed the lie that anti-abortion politicians have been peddling for years: that it’s somehow “safer” for women when the state imposes medically unnecessary, onerous restrictions on health centers and clinicians that provide abortions. With this historic decision, the Court reaffirmed a woman’s constitutional right to access legal abortion.
The decision immediately struck down medically unnecessary restrictions in Texas that targeted abortion providers, requiring them to obtain often unattainable admitting privileges and adhere to prohibitively expensive building requirements (like down-to-the-inch dimensions for hallways and janitors’ closets). Less than 24 hours after the ruling, efforts to enforce similar abortion restrictions in Alabama, Mississippi, and Wisconsin fell.
This is a clear example of what happens when we fight back. Women across our country can still access safe and legal abortion and providers and doctors that we trust do not have to jump through ridiculous hoops to provide care to their patients. This is definitely a victory for us, but unfortunately, this does not mean that we all get to live happily ever after.
Access to abortion and all facets of reproductive health care are still constantly being attacked. Whether it’s someone claiming religious freedom and trying to deny women birth control, forcing health facilities to shut their doors, or attempting to change health care laws that would make being a woman a pre-existing condition.
That’s why we need to fight back even harder! Join us at our annual Progressive Summit in Las Cruces on July 15th and learn new ways to fight back. We know that we are always stronger when we work together – because it is going to take every single one of us standing together to stop these attacks.