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Supreme Court Protects Abortion Access

Supreme Court Protects Abortion Access

Today in a landmark ruling, the Supreme Court of the United States protected access to safe, legal abortion by declaring unconstitutional 2 Texas restrictions that shut down clinics and put safe abortion out of reach.

If the Court had allowed the 2013 restrictions to go into full effect, the 5.4 million women of reproductive age in Texas would have been left with only 9 health centers that provide safe, legal abortion in the entire state - down from approximately 40 health centers before passage of this dangerous law. As the Court recognized, "neither of these provisions offers medical benefits sufficient to justify the burdens upon access that each imposes."

In response, Planned Parenthood has vowed to redouble its efforts to fight restrictions on safe, legal abortion across the country. Since 2011, state lawmakers have passed more than 316 restrictions on safe, legal abortion, and have introduced 442 in the first 6 months of 2016 alone, according to the Guttmacher Institute. Last year in Oregon, right-wing conservatives introduced 5 bills to restrict women's health - including one that could have shut down nearly every abortion provider in Oregon.

Statement from Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

"This landmark ruling is an enormous victory for women. We are thrilled the Court recognized that these laws do not enhance patient safety - rather, they punish women by blocking access to safe abortion. Yet far too many women still face insurmountable barriers, which is why we are taking this fight state by state. It's time to pass state laws to protect a woman's constitutional right to abortion, and repeal ones that block it. A person's right to make their own decisions about abortion shouldn't depend on who they are or where they live."

Statement from Stacy M. Cross, President & CEO of Planned Parenthood of Columbia Willamette and Lisa Gardner, President & CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon:

"Today is a great day. The Supreme Court made it clear that the U.S. Constitution prohibits politicians from passing laws to block access to safe, legal abortion. No woman or doctor should be punished for receiving or providing essential medical care. We will continue to fight restrictions on safe, legal abortion on behalf of our patients in Oregon. Oregon voters have consistently shown widespread support for reproductive freedom, and we will push for expanded access to all reproductive health care, including abortion. We will not be punished, and we will not go back."

Blocking access to reproductive health care has real and disastrous consequences for all people. This often has a disproportionate harmful impact on communities of color, who already face systemic barriers in accessing quality health care - as National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, In Our Own Voice and other Reproductive Justice organizations have demonstrated. Expanding access to birth control, prenatal care and abortion improves women's health and long-term financial stability for themselves and their families.

A PerryUndem poll commissioned by Vox found that the majority of Americans oppose restrictions meant to shutter health centers or make it more difficult for women to access abortion, and that 70 percent of Americans don't want to see the Supreme Court overturn Roe vs. Wade.

Posted on June 27, 2016 in News.
 
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