Washington, D.C. — Today, as the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt—a case regarding the constitutionality of Texas’s H.B. 2, one of the country’s most restrictive abortion laws—the Center for American Progress released a new video outlining what is at stake in the case.
In the more than 40 years since the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Roe v. Wade—which affirmed a woman’s right to safe, legal abortion—conservatives have been slowly chipping away at those rights. States have passed an increasing number of abortion restrictions in recent years. In fact, since 2010, nearly 300 abortion restrictions have been passed at the state level. Such laws include requiring that healthcare providers offer medically inaccurate so-called counseling; prohibiting healthcare providers from conducting medication abortions via telemedicine; and imposing medically unnecessary waiting periods that delay an already time-sensitive procedure.
These laws, known as Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers, or TRAP, laws, place unnecessary and oftentimes unrealistic burdens on clinics that provide abortions.
“Under the guise of protecting women’s health, conservative legislators are pursuing a number of abortion restrictions at an alarming rate,” said Heidi Williamson, Senior Policy Analyst for the Women’s Health and Rights Program at the Center for American Progress. “These laws not only make abortion inaccessible, but also compromise women’s health and their economic security in the process.”
At the center of Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt is Texas’s H.B. 2. A so-called TRAP law, H.B. 2 bans abortion after 20 weeks post-fertilization and places dramatic, unnecessary restrictions on state abortion clinics—which has resulted in the closure of several clinics. Since H.B. 2 was passed in 2013, more than 130,000 and up to 240,000 women report having attempted to self-terminate a pregnancy without consulting a medical professional.
As CAP’s new video demonstrates, if the Supreme Court upholds H.B. 2, it could allow other states with conservative legislatures to pass similar or more extreme abortion restrictions, and women could completely lose access to abortion care in huge swaths across the country.
- A Cautionary Tale from Texas for Low-Income Women in Ohio by Heidi Williamson, via TalkPoverty.org
- Changing the Conversation about Abortion Restrictions by Donna Barry, Andrea D. Friedman, Sarah Lipton-Lubet
- True Pro-Women Policies Foster a Woman’s Right to Reproductive Health Care Access by Carolyn Davis
- Improving Abortion Access by Expanding Those Who Provide Care by Donna Barry and Julia Rugg
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