This past Monday The Supreme Court struck down a controversial Texas abortion law in a 5-3 decision saying that it unduly burdened a women's judicially mandated right to choose to have an abortion as well as provided no significant cure to any health-related problem. The two key controversial measures of the law mandated that doctors at abortion clinics should have hospital admitting privileges, and that clinic facilities needed to be renovated to comply with hospital building codes.
This is a welcome relief to women in Texas due to the fact that if the law had been upheld the number of clinics in the state would be have been reduced even further to around 10 clinics in all of Texas. This would leave women mainly in rural areas having to drive hundreds of miles for a procedure as well as extend wait times at these facilities to up to 20 days or more.
Texas had lost over half of its original 40 or so clinics in the past three years after Governor Rick Perry signed into law sweeping regulations targeted at abortion clinics in the state, with many other states following Texas' lead on passing similar anti-abortion bills. Thankfully, due to the most recent Supreme Court ruling those laws as well may be called into question.
The road ahead will be difficult and slow though for Planned Parenthood and other providers in Texas. While still thankful for todays ruling, the process of getting these clinics up and running again could take up to six months or even longer. The focus now, according to Planned Parenthood officials, is on geographic proximity. If a woman in need of a procedure doesn't have to travel long distances and suffer burdensome costs to do so, then Texas will be in a good spot.