At issue in the case were two stringent regulations adopted by the Texas Legislature in 2013. One required doctors who perform an abortion to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. The state’s lawyers said the rule ensures that doctors are “qualified,” and that it “promotes continuity of care” if an emergency arises. Abortion-rights advocates said hospitals often refuse to extend privileges to these doctors because of the controversy over abortion and because very few of their patients will be admitted to a hospital.
The other disputed rule would require all abortions, even those within the first weeks of a pregnancy, be performed in a facility meeting the standards of an outpatient surgical center. The state said this would help ensure “a sterile operating environment” for surgery, but clinic directors say the extra space and equipment is costly and unneeded.
These are known as TRAP laws, which stands for “Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers.” The general idea is pretending to care about the health and safety of abortion patients by legislating requirements that clinics cannot possibly meet, thus putting them out of business and thereby endangering the health and safety of abortion patients.
“We conclude that neither of these provisions [on admitting privileges and surgical center requirements] offers medical benefits sufficient to justify the burdens upon access that each imposes,” said Justice Stephen Breyer for the majority. “Each places substantial obstacles in the path of women seeking a previability abortion, each constitutes an undue burden on abortion access, and each violates the federal Constitution.”
He was joined by Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan
What a coincidence that all three women on the court recognized that women are people! AMAZING AMIRITE.
In dissent were Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr.
Medical experts told the court that dental surgery, colonoscopies and other medical procedures commonly take place in doctors’ offices, not in surgical centers. Moreover, they say early abortions are safe and simple. The rule extends to women who take medication to induce an early abortion. The new law “requires those tablets be swallowed in a multi-million dollar surgical facility,” clinic directors told the court.
Texas had no reported deaths from abortions in the five years prior to the enactment of the new law in 2013.
Nevertheless, this non-problem was obviously such an urgent threat that the Texas legislature convened two special sessions to pass the law.
Now it is worth remembering that Justice Kennedy is a capricious motherfucker who cannot be trusted on this issue by either the Forced Birth Brigades, or by those who are under the impression that women are people. I don’t think it’s ideological with him; I think he’s a typical privileged twit who just isn’t a very clear and consistent thinker, and like
most all conservatives he is unprincipled and easily swayed by sloppy arguments when they pack the right emotional punch.
But there is no denying that Kennedy did us a solid today. If it had been a 4-4 decision instead, the 5th Circuit court decision would have been upheld and the law would stand.
I will not be reading the dissent today, because it is too rare a joy to celebrate the ignominious defeat of monstrous conservatives, their patronizing lies, twisted logic and cruel policies. I’m afraid they’ll have to go back to the drawing board and come up with some other novel way to enslave, maim and kill women—and no doubt Roberts, Thomas and/or Alito just gave them the road map to do it.
It is also worth noting that there are a disproportionate number of Texans residing in my Abattoir, including all of the sponsors of HB2, three past or present Republican governors of the state and the two Fifth Circuit Court judges who overturned the lower court and upheld the law as constitutional. Roberts, Thomas and Alito will join them all soon enough. Today is a day for happy dancing, and collecting warm conservative tears to fuel us for the fight ahead.
My pool isn’t just going to fill itself, people.
Have a nice day.