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ACLU Hails Supreme Court Ruling on Abortion

The ACLU says a Texas ruling will mean courts won't have to defer to Missouri lawmakers for restrictions placed on abortion providers. (courts.mo.gov)
The ACLU says a Texas ruling will mean courts won't have to defer to Missouri lawmakers for restrictions placed on abortion providers. (courts.mo.gov)
June 28, 2016

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Pro-choice advocates in Missouri are hailing a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that strikes down key parts of a Texas law that severely restricts how abortion clinics could operate.

The ruling 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.

Tony Rothert, legal director of the ACLU of Missouri, says it means starting now, courts will start taking a serious look at states that make it harder to access abortion care.

"The Missouri Legislature has repeatedly over the years, engaged in a bit of a game where it pretends that it's protecting women's health but really all it's doing is erecting unnecessary barriers to abortion care," he states.

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.

Rothert says as with some other states, Missouri has been imposing unnecessary burdens on abortion care providers by saying the state is protecting women.

"The Supreme Court saw through that kind of sham reasoning, and now courts will have to look at evidence instead of just deferring to the Legislature," he stresses.

Rothert says this could mean a real shift in regulations placed on abortion providers.

He says courts have been deferential to state legislatures, but now states will have to show that they're actually protecting women's health by restricting abortions.


Veronica Carter, Public News Service - MO