By Michael Lipka
More than four decades after the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, opponents and supporters of abortion rights are still battling over the issue in court. Most recently, on June 27, the Supreme Court struck down a Texas law that required abortion clinics in the state to meet the same health and safety standards as medical centers that perform outpatient surgeries. The Texas law also required doctors who work at abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.
The Supreme Court’s 5-3 decision reversed a lower court ruling last year that had upheld the law. The high court’s ruling could very well seal the fate of similar laws in 12 other states, some of which were already on hold pending this latest ruling.
Texas officials had argued that the law was necessary to protect the health and safety of women. They pointed to cases such as that of Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, who in 2013 was convicted of killing babies born alive, as justification for tightening health regulations at clinics.
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