“In striking down these commonsense requirements, the Supreme Court has essentially accepted the abortion industry’s argument that it should be allowed to keep its profits high and patient care standards low,” said Clarke D. Forsythe, Acting President of Americans United for Life.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (06-27-16) – “Women lost today as the Supreme Court sides with the abortion industry, putting profits over women’s health and safety by opposing life-saving regulations and medically endorsed standards of patient care. Sadly, the commonsense laws that protect women in real, full service healthcare centers won’t be in effect in Texas abortion clinics, but Americans United for Life will continue to fight – in legislatures and in the courts – to protect women from a dangerous and greedy abortion industry,” said AUL Acting President and Senior Counsel Clarke Forsythe. He made his remarks as the U.S. Supreme Court in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt struck down Texas requirements that abortion clinics comply with the same health and safety standards as facilities performing other outpatient surgeries and that individual abortion providers maintain hospital-admitting privileges to facilitate the treatment of abortion complications.
“In striking down these commonsense requirements, the Supreme Court has essentially accepted the abortion industry’s argument that it should be allowed to keep its profits high and patient care standards low,” said Forsythe. “It inexplicably turned a blind eye to what it has repeatedly held since Roe v. Wade: states may regulate the provision of abortion to protect maternal health. This ruling endangers women nationwide as health and safety standards are at risk.”
For more than 15 years, AUL has led the nationwide effort to combat a dangerous abortion industry, advocating for meaningful and comprehensive regulation and oversight of abortion providers across the nation. Currently, 29 states regulate (to widely varying degrees) abortion facilities, and only 6 of these states require abortion clinics to meet the same health and safety standards as facilities performing other outpatient surgeries. Further, 15 states require individual abortion providers or abortion facilities to maintain either hospital admitting privileges or a transfer agreement with a third-party physician who maintains such privileges.
“Today’s abortion clinics are the true ‘back alleys’ of abortion mythology,” noted Denise Burke, Vice President of Legal Affairs at AUL. “They consistently operate in the ‘red light district’ of American medicine where the problem of substandard abortion providers is longstanding and pervasive. The fight against this public health crisis will continue, despite today’s ruling.”
AUL also filed a brief in the Supreme Court in defense of the Texas requirements, available here. The brief was filed on behalf of more than 460 officeholders from states with provisions similar to the Texas law and demonstrated that the Supreme Court had historically given “wide discretion” to state lawmakers in the regulation of abortion and significant deference to legislative determinations as to the medical necessity for enacting health and safety regulations for abortion providers.
To learn more about the health risks of abortion for all women, click here.
To learn more about health and safety standards that protect women from dangerous abortion clinic conditions, check out AUL’sWomen’s Protection Project here.
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