On Monday, June 27, the Supreme Court issued a ruling on a restrictive Texas abortion law that has led to a domino effect of wins in the name of women’s health this week, and a platform for Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton to share her women's health ideology.
The Texas Omnibus Abortion Bill mandated that any abortion procedures would have to take place in “ambulatory surgical centers” and that physicians performing the procedures also needed to have “admitting privileges to a hospital within 30 miles of their clinic,” as described in an article written for forbes.com. Had it been upheld, this bill would have effectively shut down 32 of the 42 existing abortion clinics in Texas. Thankfully for the women of the Lone Star State, the Supreme Court shot down the bill, and Justice Stephen Breyer wrote for the majority, “The surgical-center requirement, like the admitting-privileges requirement, provides few, if any, health benefits for women, poses a substantial obstacle to women seeking abortions, and constitutes an "undue burden" on their constitutional right to do so."
Anticipation followed the ruling, as many hoped that “Targeted Regulations of Abortion Providers (or TRAP laws) may now be easier to challenge in court,” according to cosmopolitan.com. And in the two days since the court’s decision, these anticipations have been realized. In a Tuesday ruling regarding a Louisiana bill that would effectively close the state’s only abortion clinic, the Supreme Court upheld a ruling by Judge E. Grady Jolly, that proclaimed the bill Unconstitutional as “Mississippi may not shift its obligation to respect the established constitutional rights of its citizens to another state.” In Wisconsin (quite similarly to the Texas ruling) Judge Richard A. Posner ruled that “courts must balance the supposed health benefits of abortion restrictions against the burdens they impose on access to abortion.” Finally, the state of Alabama dropped an appeal that blocked the state from restricting abortions. Alabama’s attorney general, Luther Strange, justified the decision by saying, “There is no good faith argument that Alabama’s law remains constitutional in light of the Supreme Court ruling.”
Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has been able to use these recent women's health victories as a platform to raise awareness about her own women’s health ideologies. Clinton, who has referred to Monday’s Texas ruling as “a critical victory,” laid out her plan for the women’s health sector, should she be elected this November, in an article that she wrote for the Concord Monitor. Though the article described her beliefs in greater detail, Clintons three main points were: 1) “I will always stand with Planned Parenthood” 2) “I’ll fight to protect access to fair and legal abortion” and 3) “I will support comprehensive, inclusive sex education.” When compared to Trump’s recent proclamation that women who get abortions, no, wait, doctors who perform abortions, should be punished, Clinton clearly presides as the choice candidate when it comes to issues of women’s health. Further evidenced by her "Stronger Together" campaigning with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, Clinton has proved herself to be a woman focused on supporting other women, and that's a candidate we can get behind!