Texas women prevailed today. Five Supreme Court justices ruled in favor of protecting access to safe, legal abortion by striking down two unconstitutional Texas restrictions that threatened to shut down all but nine health centers in the entire state that could provide abortion for millions of Texas women. As a result of today’s decision, these medically unnecessary and targeted restrictions on abortion providers will no longer limit women’s access to safe and legal abortion in Texas.
More good news is that this action will reach far beyond Texas. In its opinion, the court found these barriers created significant burdens through delays, increased travel time, and overnight stays. A woman’s ability to access a safe and legal abortion should not depend on the zip code she lives in. Texas isn’t the only state with these types of unnecessary restrictions. While no other state laws will be impacted immediately following the decision, the Supreme Court has now set a precedent to protect women in states where lawmakers strive to insert politics into women’s reproductive decisions.
Those of us who respect a woman’s ability to make her own pregnancy decisions have reason to be hopeful today, but we also know that we have so much more work to do. Enough is enough. We must remain vigilant in our efforts to preserve this essential freedom. That’s why Planned Parenthood is committed to championing women’s reproductive rights, and to providing information and high-quality, compassionate healthcare to women, men and teens living in our communities. No matter what.
The authors are members of the Board of Directors of Planned Parenthood of Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo Counties, Inc. Lynch is chair, Dr. Engberg is chair-elect.