Women’s Health and Lives at Stake as U.S. Supreme Court Decides to Hear Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole (Hellerstedt)

Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families

“For more than four decades, women’s privacy, dignity and ability to make deeply personal decisions about their health have been protected by Roe v. Wade. These critical protections will be on the line when the U.S. Supreme Court hears Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole (Hellerstedt) this term. An adverse ruling in this case would shutter nearly all of the abortion clinics in Texas, and turn the clock back even further to pre-Roe days when women in large swaths of the country could not access the care they needed.

The Texas law at issue in this case (HB 2) is an outrageous overreach by extreme opponents of abortion who will stop at nothing to block women’s access to abortion care. The law’s restrictions – requiring abortion providers to obtain medically unnecessary admitting privileges at local hospitals and forcing abortion clinics to meet the requirements of 'mini-hospitals' known as ambulatory surgical centers – are baseless. They interfere with the practice of medicine; have nothing to do with providing safe, high-quality care; and replace medical standards with politicians’ ideology as a ruse to shut down trusted health care providers and deny women care. Simply put, they are ‘bad medicine.’ 

Women and health care providers in Texas are not alone in facing ‘bad medicine’ laws like HB 2: Anti-abortion lawmakers in dozens of states have passed laws that interfere in the practice of medicine and endanger women’s health. 

The Supreme Court has an opportunity in Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole (Hellerstedt) to reaffirm Roe v. Wade and help take politics out of exam rooms. HB 2 is unconstitutional and it erodes the fundamental tenets of good health care in our nation. The Court must strike down this dangerous law and reaffirm women’s privacy, dignity and equality.”

About the National Partnership

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

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