There are just SIX days left until the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments for Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. Last night we got the heartbreaking news that the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld similar legislation in Louisiana, forcing the probable closure of all but one abortion clinic in the state.
The fight against HB2 has always been about Texas, but this news is a stark reminder that we’re fighting to protect abortion access for ALL of us, in each and every state. Whatever decision the judges make will surely have national implications.We would like to take this moment to shed light on the fact that these restrictions are 100 percent not about protecting women’s health and safety, but are instead about shutting down providers and making abortion unavailable to the women and people who need it.
“…but the majority of clinics, like South Wind, are independent nonprofits or small businesses. To function, they must contend with standards that vary from state to state. Advocacy organizations including Americans United for Life and National Right to Life have spent 40 years drafting and lobbying for rules that make operating abortion clinics highly difficult, such as the requirement that the clinics meet surgical center standards.”
“Ohio Department of Health documents obtained by Burkons’s attorney show that 33 other health-care facilities that applied for licenses from 2011 to 2015 waited a median of about 15 days between being inspected and receiving a license or a plan of correction that led to a license. Five months after his inspection and pressure from his attorneys, whose $400-per-hour rates quickly added up to about $15,000, the Ohio Department of Health told Burkons that because of six violations, it was denying his license. According to a list of ASC license requests issued by the state, all seven of the other surgical centers cited for violations from 2011 to 2015 were not denied and were allowed to make immediate corrections.”
“In 2012, Governor John Kasich appointed Ohio Right to Life’s president, Michael Gonidakis, a lawyer with no medical background, to the state’s medical board, which oversees physician licenses.”
“Troy Newman: “We do everything legal and moral to make sure these abortion clinics aren’t able to open up. We’ll talk to landlords. We’ll talk to neighbors. We’ll send postcards out asking not to rent, lease, or sell to an abortionist.” Conway, of Texas Right to Life, says that when anti-abortion organizations in her state “hear a rumbling” about an abortion clinic coming to town, activists will go to the local permit office “almost on a daily basis” until documents with contractors’ names are available. Then they blast the contractors with phone calls and organize boycotts.”
“At no time since before 1973, when the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion, has a woman’s ability to terminate a pregnancy been more dependent on her zip code or financial resources to travel. The drop-off in providers—more than one every two weeks—occurred in 35 states, in both small towns and big cities that are home to more than 30 million women of reproductive age.”
… and lastly (not a quote, but still relevant so we’re counting it.)