As an example, researchers turn to a NY bill that would require a provider to tell women seeking an abortion that abortion increases the risk of breast cancer, a lie debunked by both the American Cancer Society and World Health Organization more than a decade ago.
“What was the problem the legislature was responding to that it needed to improve the facilities for women’s health?”
During the arguments on Wednesday, the Supreme Court’s three women led the criticism of the Texas abortion restrictions. Clinic personnel argue that the Texas regulations already have closed half of the roughly 40 clinics that existed before the law was enacted and that only about 10 clinics would remain if the law is allowed to take full effect. But abortion remains a disputed issue in the United States, as it does in many countries, and some states have passed laws aiming to place a variety of restrictions on a woman’s ability to terminate a pregnancy.
The high court, divided between liberals and conservatives, has blocked the surgical-center requirement from taking effect. However, Texas lawyer Scott Keller said one clinic in Houston can do about 9,000 abortions per year, and with that number the remaining clinics would be likely to handle the potential capacity, according to The New York Times. “If that right still does retain real substance, then this law can not stand. The burdens it imposes, the obstacles, are far beyond anything that this court has countenanced”. But the swing voter, Justice Anthony Kennedy, left open several possibilities.
Conservative Justice Samuel Alito indicated support for the regulations and referred to evidence that abortion facilities in Texas “have been cited for really appalling violations when they were inspected: holes in the floor where rats could come in, the lack of any equipment to adequately sterilize instruments”. If he votes with the conservative judges, the case would tie 4-to-4.
Kennedy’s questions Wednesday did not make clear his stance. Without Justice Scalia, Justice Kennedy’s vote holds even more weight.
Now, the Court is down one justice and at an ideological 4-4 split, so what will a ruling mean from the eight-justice Court? “We are here to stand up for the unborn, and we are here to stand up for the rule of law”, Ryan said. Should Hillary Clinton win the presidential election in November, Kennedy’s vote won’t matter, since whoever she picks to replace Scalia will side with the Court’s liberal wing to overturn H.B. 2.
Information for this article was contributed by Sam Hananel of The Associated Press.