June 27, 2016
U.S. Supreme Court Ruling a Victory for Women and Families
Madison, WI – State Senator Chris Larson (D–Milwaukee) released the following statement in response to the Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt ruling issued today by the U.S. Supreme Court. In 2013, Texas legislators passed House Bill 2 (HB2), a TRAP law that imposed numerous restrictions on women’s access to legal abortion. HB2 forced doctors who provide abortion services to obtain admitting privileges at hospitals no farther than 30 miles away from the clinic. In addition, every health care facility offering abortion care would be required to meet building specifications of ambulatory surgical centers – which is medically unnecessary. In fact, in her concurrence opinion, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg stated, “Texas argues that HB 2’s restrictions are constitutional because they protect the health of women who experience complications from abortions. “In truth, complications from an abortion are both rare and rarely dangerous.”
“The Supreme Court has powerfully reaffirmed a woman’s constitutional right to make her own decisions about her health, family, and future, no matter her zip code. Our neighbors – in Wisconsin and across the country – have the freedom to plan when they want to start a family and a right to protect themselves from unintended pregnancies. Draconian laws, like this and others pushed by legislative Republicans across the country, limit health care options and the opportunity for a woman to protect her health.
“TRAP laws imposing severe restrictions on women’s health centers and providers of abortion services have only one goal in mind: forcing their targets to close their doors. The U.S. Supreme Court striking down HB2 protects access to critical health care services that provide a range of much-needed support for both women and men.
“Wisconsin is all too familiar with similar efforts to restrict reproductive freedom. In fact, just two weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court decided to take the Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt case, a federal court overruled the burdensome admitting privileges portion of a law Wisconsin Republicans pushed through in 2013.
“The ruling today protects our cornerstone American principle of individual freedom and reaffirms that politicians have no business in private decisions women make about their health care. Accordingly, this ruling reaffirms that political intrusion in such personal decisions is un-American and will not stand.
“Those of us who are listening to the public will continue the fight to protect and expand reproductive freedom for all by supporting legislation that respects our rights.”