The U.S. Supreme Court has announced they will review House Bill 2, the Texas omnibus abortion law designed to shut down clinics. Their decision will determine the future of abortion access in the United States.
Whole Woman’s Health, who brought the lawsuit on behalf of themselves and other abortion providers in Texas, issued a statement on the decision. Amy Hagstrom Miller, the founder and CEO of Whole Woman’s, says she’s hopeful the Supreme Court will find that HB 2 is illegal:
Today, my heart is filled with hope. Although this is the first step in a much longer process, I am hopeful that the Supreme Court will uphold the rights that have been in place for four decades and reaffirm that every woman should be able to make her own decision about continuing or ending a pregnancy. I have hope for my staff members, who, for years, have poured themselves into providing Texas women with high-quality and comprehensive reproductive health care. And most of all, I have hope for the families and communities all across Texas who now may be able to get the safe and comprehensive care they need from a clinic they trust.
She adds that it is “an honor” to bring suit on behalf of Texas healthcare providers, women, and families:
In 2003, Whole Woman’s Health made a commitment to provide quality and holistic reproductive health care in Texas. This is a commitment we intend to keep. To the women of Texas: Now, more than ever, we are here for you. We have been betrayed by legislators and vilified by anti-choice extremists, but we are still here for you, and are confident that justice will be on our side. We are honored to stand up for Texas women and families and bring this case to the highest court in the land.
Seven Texas abortion funds, who work to help women raise the money they need for abortion care, also issued a joint statement. The funds are the Texas Equal Access Fund, Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity, Fund Texas Choice, West Fund, Frontera Fund, Clinic Access Support Network, and the Bridge Collectives. They say unanimously that HB 2 has been devastating:
Those who created this law claim it was designed to improve reproductive healthcare, but in reality it has accomplished the complete opposite. We know because we received the phone calls of scared people scrambling to find an appointment when the first wave of clinics closed in 2013, and when more clinics closed for a period in 2014. We hope that the Court will decide to uphold the right to bodily autonomy, economic justice, and access to healthcare, and strike down a law that has already done so much damage and stands to do even more irreparable harm to individual’s lives if allowed to stand.
Finally, NARAL Pro-Choice Texas calls the law “an end-run around the constitution”:
Texans are fully capable of making thoughtful decisions about their families, future and reproductive health without interference from politicians. This law is an end-run around the constitution, designed to shut down quality reproductive health clinics. HB 2 creates higher costs, longer delays and additional barriers, pushing pregnant people further into their pregnancies, causing them to travel long distances and putting their health and safety at risk.
The court will likely hear oral arguments around March, and a decision is expected in June.
The Whole Woman’s clinic location in Fort Worth, Texas. Photo via AP Images