New York, NY, June 27, 2016 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today hailed the Supreme Court’s historic 5-3 decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, which struck down a Texas anti-abortion law. The law, HB2, would have effectively barred many women, particularly women in poverty and women of color, from exercising their constitutional right to an abortion.
“The court’s decision appropriately recognizes the real-life impact of HB2 on access to abortion,” said Deborah M. Lauter, ADL Senior Vice President of Policy and Programs. “This ruling is a victory for reproductive justice and gender equality in America.”
Marvin D. Nathan, ADL National Chair and an attorney in Houston, added, “In Texas, HB2 would have continued to place major roadblocks on all women seeking to exercise their Constitutional right to an abortion, including travel expenses for multiple doctor visits, obtaining child care, and getting time off from work. For many poor women, who are disproportionately women of color, these roadblocks would have effectively barred their access to abortion, resulting in detrimental health consequences, as well as keeping women impoverished by jeopardizing long-term earning and educational opportunities.”
When HB2 was in effect, it resulted in over half of Texas’ abortion clinics closing their doors. The Supreme Court decision should help derail the drive to enact similar laws in other states and laws currently on the books designed to single out abortion providers for medically unnecessary, politically motivated state regulations.
HB2’s medically unnecessary requirements would have forced a physician performing an abortion to hold admitting privileges at a hospital located no more than 30 miles from where the abortion was performed and imposed on abortion facilities the standards required for ambulatory surgical centers.
ADL joined with the National Women’s Law Center and 47 other organizations on an amicus brief that highlights the negative impact that the restrictions at issue in this case have on women’s economic security and equal participation in social and economic life, particularly for low-income women, women of color and women in low-wage jobs.