Pro-Lifers on ‘Disappointing’ Ruling: Next President More Important than Ever
WASHINGTON – In a controversial ruling, the Supreme Court struck down a Texas law requiring physicians who perform abortions to have hospital admitting privileges. The law also requires clinics to meet hospital-like safety stands for outpatient surgery.
Hundreds awaited Monday as the dramatic day played out at the high court.
The issue: the abortion and Texas access law that closed all but a handful of clinics in the Lone Star State over failure to meet state health standards. In ruling against the Texas law, pro-life advocates say the court missed an opportunity to protect women.
“It’s extremely disappointing to see five unelected and unaccountable justices make this decision that hurts women,” said Arina Grossu, director for the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Council. “This case is about women’s health and safety standards and they have refused to protect women. And this is going to mean that more women are going to continue to be hurt and even die in these abortion facilities.”
Pro-choice advocates argue that facilities are safe enough and their concern is over access.
“I believe that the fact that the laws have made it so – there’s so few abortion clinics – proves the fact that the laws are making a lower access to abortion versus making a safer abortion,” one pro-choice advocate responded. “So I believe that access is really important and I’m really happy that we won.”
Justices in the majority felt the Texas regulations pose an obstacle to women seeking abortions and could force women in dire circumstances to seek out unlicensed practitioners.
“Basically he said that these were new standards,” Steve Aden, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, said. “He ignored the fact that they were consistent with the standards that [they] were applied by Texas to outpatient surgical facilities across the board, and he said they just simply closed too many clinics.”
Lawyers for the Texas state law are discouraged by the ruling, but they think many clinics will remain closed because the overall demand for abortion is decreasing.
“The reason that clinics are closing by and large across the country is because abortion is more and more unpopular. That’s a wonderful thing,” Aden said.
“We know that the majority of Millennials, my generation, the majority of college-aged women are pro-life and we’re going to continue fighting for them,” Jane Riccardi with Students for Life of America said.
The decision has spurred pro-choice groups to continue fighting for the lives of the unborn. They’re planning to go after other states with strict clinic regulations.
“This is a rallying point for the presidential election,” Concerned Women for America President Penny Nance said. “There are huge implications for the unborn in this next election and I call on every pro-life American to make sure they vote.”
“We’re going to work very hard to make sure we have better justices and overturn this decision,” Nance said. “We’re not done.”
Pro-life leaders say this decision underscores the importance of electing a pro-life president in 2016 since the next president will appoint at least one new justice to the Supreme Court.