Vicky Spratt | Deputy Editor | Tuesday, 28 June 2016

US Supreme Court Overrules Harsh Texas Abortion Law

US Supreme Court Overrules Harsh Texas Abortion Law

The Debrief: Reproductive rights campaigners are hoping this will be a turning point in their fight for a woman's right to choose across America

Yesterday the US supreme court ruled against the state of Texas and its controversial abortion law. The ruling is a victory for reproductive rights campaigners and activists, it will see one of the harshest abortion laws in the United States overturned. The supreme court deemed Texas abortion law to be ‘unnecessarily restrictive’.

 The Guardian are calling potentially ‘the most significant legal victory for reproductive rights advocates since the right to abortion was established in 1973.’

 The law in question dates back to 2013 and imposed incredibly restrictive regulations on abortions in Texas. Since it was passed a large proportion of the state’s abortion clinics have been forced to close. The law required the doctors performing the procedure to run clinics in a ‘hospital-like’ way and to meet the standards expected of hospitals. It also demanded that doctors who perform abortions had ‘admitting privilege’ at a nearby hospital, experts had ruled that this was not necessary. This, if it hadn’t been struck down by the supreme court, would have seen almost all of the state’s abortion clinics closed down.

This particular decision on Texas is, therefore, a potential turning point in the reproductive rights debate currently taking place in America where a woman’s right to choose is still under threat, despite the fact that abortion was legalised in the country in 1973 as a result of the landmark case Roe vs. Wade.

 The Washington Post also points out that antiabortion advocates have passed a large number of abortion restrictions in the US so far this year. In recent years they’ve been doing the same – with Republican legislatures passing 92 laws laws which limited abortion access in 2011 alone. There is a will in America to make it harder to get an abortion, as the recent high profile attacks on Planned Parenthood demonstrate, but there’s hope that this will see effective and successful legal challenges in other states too.

Nearly a thousand people gathered in front of the Supreme Court yesterday to celebrate the pro-choice victory for women in Texas which became a symbol of hope for women across America. 

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Tags: Abortion, Feminism