Unprecedented Number of Groups & Experts Call on SCOTUS to Overturn Texas TRAP Law
An unprecedented group of medical experts, legislators, legal scholars, business leaders and reproductive justice advocates joined the Center for Reproductive Rights yesterday to announce the filing of 45 amicus briefs, urging the Supreme Court of the United States to overturn a Texas law that threatens to close more than 75% of abortion clinics in the state and deny millions of women access to safe, legal abortion. The Feminist Majority Foundation joined the National Women's Law Center's amicus brief along with 46 other women's rights organizations.
The Supreme Court agreed in November 2015 to hear the case challenging H.B. 2, Whole Woman's Health v. Cole, brought by the Center for Reproductive Rights. The Texas law, which requires abortion clinics to become ambulatory surgical centers and for physicians providing abortions to obtain local hospital admitting privileges, has already shuttered half of the abortion clinics in the state. Oral arguments in the case are scheduled for March 2.
Nancy Northrup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, stated, "Never before has such a diverse array of organizations and leaders from the fields of medicine, government, law, business and religion stepped forward to condemn abortion restrictions at the U.S. Supreme Court. These briefs present a thorough record of the undeniable damage Texas' sham law has and will continue to cause, and an indisputable legal argument for why it must be struck down. This deceptive law is an affront to science-based medicine, an insult to women's dignity, and reflects a total disregard for the rule of law and the rights of millions."
Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi joined with Senators Harry Reid and Patty Murray, along with 160 other members of Congress for a bicameral amicus brief stating, "The amicus brief filed by Members of Congress urges the Supreme Court to reject Texas politicians' appalling attempt to deny women their constitutional right to make their own reproductive health decisions.
"No wonder so many diverse groups are uniting. If upheld, this deceptive Texas law-aimed at closing abortion clinics-would result in clinics closing not only in Texas, but throughout the nation. It's a red alert for women's lives," said Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority Foundation.
According to the amicus brief filed by American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Medical Association, Academy of Family Physicians, American Osteopathic Association, and American Academy of Pediatrics in January, 2016, "Far from safeguarding women's health, requirements imposed by H.B. 2 jeopardize women's health by impeding, if not outright preventing, access to safe, legal, evidence-based abortion care."
The Feminist Majority Foundation honored Amy Hagstrom Miller, CEO Whole Woman's Health, and a lead plaintiff in the lawsuit challenging H.B. 2 this past November. At the time, Hagstrom-Miller said, "These restrictions have nothing to do with protecting women and everything to do with closing down clinics and pushing abortion out of reach for millions of Americans. At Whole Woman's Health, we know this to be true because these restrictions have directly interfered with our ability to provide holistic, safe, and affordable abortion care to Texans."
Media Resources: Center for Reproductive Rights Press Release 1/5/16, Feminist Newswire 11/13/15