Whole Women’s Health v. Cole

Whole Women’s Health v. Cole (Abortion)

Status: Arguments on March 2, 2016; Decision: June 27, 2016

The petitioners in Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole claimed a Texas law enacted in 2013 would force about 75 percent of the state’s abortion services to close. Two provisions in the law required that doctors at clinics have hospital admitting privileges within 30 miles of the clinics, and that clinics have facilities equal to those of an outpatient surgical center. Texas officials believe the laws protect the health of the women seeking abortions by guaranteeing better care.

A divided Supreme Court ruled against the Texas law that placed restrictions on how women can gain access to abortions at clinics.

In a 5-3 decision, Justice Stephen Breyer said that “both the admitting privileges and surgical center requirements place a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking a previability abortion, constitute an undue burden on abortion access, and thus violate the Constitution.”

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