After ‘Whole Woman’s Health’ Decision, Advocates Should Fight Ultrasound Laws With Science

Aug 9, 2016

A return to data should aid in dismantling other laws ungrounded in any real facts, such as Texas’ onerous “informed consent” law—HB 15—which forces women to get an ultrasound that they may neither need nor afford, and which imposes a 24-hour waiting period.

Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down two provisions of Texas’ omnibus anti-abortion law, has changed the reproductive rights landscape in ways that will reverberate in courts around the country for years to come. It is no longer acceptable—at least in theory—for a state to announce that a particular restriction advances an interest in women’s health and to expect courts and the public to take them at their word.

In an opinion driven by science and data,Justice Stephen Breyer, writing for the majority in Whole Woman’s Health, weighed the costs and benefits of the two provisions of HB 2 at issue—the admitting privileges and ambulatory surgical center (ASC) requirements—and found them wanting. Texas had breezed through the Fifth Circuit without facing any real pushback on its manufactured claims that the two provisions advanced women’s health. Finally, Justice Breyer whipped out his figurative calculator and determined that those claims didn’t add up. For starters, Texas admitted that it didn’t know of a single instance where the admitting privileges requirement would have helped a woman get better treatment. And as for Texas’ claim that abortion should be performed in an ASC, Breyer pointed out that the state did not require the same of its midwifery clinics, and that childbirth is 14 times more likely to result in death.


Continue reading by clicking the name of the source below.

2 comments on “After ‘Whole Woman’s Health’ Decision, Advocates Should Fight Ultrasound Laws With Science

  • @OP – It is no longer acceptable—at least in theory—for a state to announce that a particular restriction advances an interest in women’s health and to expect courts and the public to take them at their word.

    It’s about time some evidenced science intruded and challenged these pontificating twerps who make up prejudiced legislation off the top of their deluded heads!!



    Report abuse

  • In an opinion driven by science and data,Justice Stephen Breyer, writing for the majority in Whole Woman’s Health, weighed the costs and benefits of the two provisions of HB 2 at issue—the admitting privileges and ambulatory surgical center (ASC) requirements—and found them wanting.

    Thank you Justice Breyer and other Justices of the majority in this decision. Science and data! Weighing of costs and benefits! These are all what I expect of the highest court in the land. Let’s put an end to the religiously deluded imposing their God given judgement on the rest of us. If someone thinks abortion is morally wrong then they shouldn’t have one but don’t interfere with every other woman’s reproductive choices.

    Anti-choice reproduction controllers have had their way for too long and every bit of that control is religion based. I’m so relieved that the Supreme Court has pushed them back forcefully.



    Report abuse

Leave a Reply

View our comment policy.