National Partnership for Women & Families

Adverse Ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt Could ‘Undermine Women’s Privacy, Dignity and Equality for a Generation,’ Women’s Health Leader Warns

Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families
WASHINGTON, D.C. — March 2, 2016 —

“Women’s privacy, dignity, equality and ability to make deeply personal health decisions will be on the line when the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt today. An adverse ruling in this case would shutter nearly all of the abortion clinics in Texas, with other states sure to follow, drastically diminishing access to abortion care for tens of millions of women.

The Texas law at issue in this case (HB 2) requires abortion providers to obtain medically unnecessary admitting privileges at local hospitals and forces abortion clinics to meet the requirements of ‘mini-hospitals.’ It is a blatant attempt by abortion opponents to block women’s access to abortion care — a ‘bad medicine’ law that compromises the high-quality, evidence-based health care women need and deserve. Sadly, the Texas law is far from unique: New National Partnership research shows that 28 states have Targeted Regulation of Abortion Provider (TRAP) laws that interfere in the practice of medicine.

Cases like this remind us that the Supreme Court plays a critical role in protecting our most fundamental rights. In this case, women are counting on the Court to rebuff this dangerous overreach by extremists determined to deny women’s access to abortion care and replace medical standards with their own ideology. If they succeed, women, families and our country will suffer.

It’s past time for politicians to exit the exam room and stop interfering in women’s health. For more than four decades, the Court has upheld a woman’s constitutional right to safe, legal abortion care. The country is counting on our highest Court to strike down Texas’ outrageous law and reaffirm women’s privacy, dignity and equality. We trust the Court will recognize HB 2 as the unconstitutional, dangerous intrusion into women’s health and privacy that it is, and strike it down.

We note, also, that as the Supreme Court hears this case, the House Select Investigative Panel is holding a shameful, politically motivated hearing designed to deceive the public and undermine women’s health care. All attacks on women’s health must end.”

The National Partnership submitted an amicus brief in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, signed by 21 of the nation’s leading health policy experts, arguing that HB 2 is fundamentally out of step with the national drive to make high-quality care more accessible and less costly.


Lauren Sogor (202) 986-2600

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at

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