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Sedler releases statement on Supreme Court striking down Texas abortion restrictionsJune 27, 2016Wayne State University Law School Distinguished Professor Robert Sedler released the following statement about the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt:
“The Supreme Court today rendered a very important decision that extended strong protection to a woman’s constitutional right to have a safe and legal abortion. The court struck down two provisions of a Texas law that would have had the effect of closing at least half of the abortion facilities in the state and forcing many women to travel long distances in order to have an abortion. One provision required that doctors performing abortions have admitting privileges at local hospitals, and most hospitals would deny admitting privileges to doctors who performed abortions. The court found that abortion was an extremely safe procedure with very low rates of complications and virtually no deaths, and that it would be sufficient if the doctors had working arrangements with doctors who had admitting privileges. The other provision required that abortion facilities be equipped as extensively as a surgical center. Most abortion clinics in the state would not be able to meet this requirement. The court found that this requirement provided few if any health benefits for women, posed a substantial obstacle to women seeking abortions and so constituted an undue burden on their constitutional right to have an abortion.
“The result of the decision is that the federal courts will strike down laws enacted in a number of southern and Midwestern states that would have the effect of forcing abortion clinics to close and thus would seriously interfere with the right of women to have a safe and legal abortion. It is a very important decision protecting a woman’s right to reproductive freedom.”
Distinguished Professor Robert Sedler is an …