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IL Reproductive Rights Groups Hail High Court Decision

Reproductive rights groups in Illinois are praising the U.S. Supreme Court for overturning parts of a Texas law restricting abortion clinics. (iStockphoto)
Reproductive rights groups in Illinois are praising the U.S. Supreme Court for overturning parts of a Texas law restricting abortion clinics. (iStockphoto)
June 28, 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Reproductive rights advocates in Illinois are praising the U.S. Supreme Court's 5-to-3 ruling that struck down key parts of a Texas law that severely restricted how abortion clinics could operate.

The ruling Monday, hailed as a major milestone by pro-choice groups, removes medical practice regulations placed on abortion clinics so restrictive that, since they were enacted in 2013, half of the clinics in Texas were forced to close their doors.

Lorie Chaiten, director of the Reproductive Rights Project at the ACLU of Illinois, helped author an amicus briefs in the case. She says the outcome is the result of a long, hard fight.

"A tremendous victory for women's right to abortion,” she states. “While there's still much work to be done, the court made absolutely clear that politicians can no longer use sham justifications to pass laws that deny women access to abortion."

The decision, written by Justice Stephen Breyer, found the Texas law placed an "undue burden" on women seeking an abortion. Justice Anthony Kennedy was the swing vote in the decision.

Chaiten says out of the Midwestern states, Illinois has some of the least restrictions on women's access to abortion. But she says challenges remain and that Monday's Supreme Court decision could help in the future.

"I think what we're going to see is a lot of effort to repeal laws that can't be supported under medical standards,” she states. “I think we're going to see challenges to those laws, and hopefully, some restraint on the part of politicians who've been trying to shut down abortion care."

Other legal experts say the court's ruling on the Texas law could put similar legislation in other states in jeopardy.

According to the ruling, states now will have to prove that these laws are actually protecting women's health by restricting abortion.



Brandon Campbell, Public News Service - IL