bring it on with image of scotus

Texas abortion clinics take their appeal to the Supreme Court

bring it on with image of scotusPro-choice advocates and abortion providers in Texas have filed a formal petition asking the Supreme Court to hear their case against the anti-choice restrictions that threaten to close all but ten of the state’s clinics.The New York Times reports:

Abortion providers in Texas asked the Supreme Courton Wednesday to reverse an appeals court ruling that would leave the state with 10 abortion clinics, down from more than 40. Should the court agree to hear the case, as appears likely, it could issue its first major abortion ruling since 2007 before its next term ends in June.

“Texas is the second-most populous state in the nation — home to 5.4 million women of reproductive age,” the providers wrote in urging the court to hear the case. “More than 60,000 of those women choose to have an abortion each year.”

If SCOTUS takes up the case, it will be the first time it’s heard an abortion-related case since 2007. That’s when it upheld the so-called “partial birth abortion” ban, and pro-choice groups have been somewhat hesitant to go before the court since. But the situation in Texas is dire. Not only would the law close 75 percent of the abortion clinics in the state — affecting thousands of Texans a year — but the lower court that upheld the law declared that it didn’t post an “undue burden” on the right choose because the state claimed that it “furthered women’s health” — and that there was no need to actually determine whether that claim is valid. (It’s not, as every medical authority has confirmed.) As Irin Carmon explains at MSNBC, one of the key questions before SCOTUS is: “Can the state create any kind of hurdle at all if it justifies it as ‘furthering women’s health’?”

The answer will affect reproductive freedom not just in Texas but throughout the country. If the court doesn’t step in, there’s apparently no legal limit to the kind of nonsense anti-choice lawmakers can pass under the thin guise of protecting “patient safety” and Texas-style laws will likely become a template for making abortion technically legal but utterly inaccessible in other red states. If it does, it could put a stop to the continued spread of “sham laws” that have literally no other purpose than to shut down clinics.

St. Paul, MN

Maya Dusenbery is executive director in charge of editorial at Feministing. She is the author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick (HarperOne, March 2018). She has been a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard magazine. Her work has appeared in publications like,, Bitch Magazine, as well as the anthology The Feminist Utopia Project. Before become a full-time journalist, she worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health. A Minnesota native, she received her B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. After living in Brooklyn, Oakland, and Atlanta, she is currently based in the Twin Cities.

Maya Dusenbery is an executive director of Feministing and author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm on sexism in medicine.

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