In a boon to women everywhere, the Supreme Court rejected a controversial Texas abortion access law today. According to the New York Times, the law could have slashed the number of Texas abortion clinics from 40 to 10. CNN describes the 5-3 ruling as the most meaningful decision SCOTUS has made on abortion in 20 years.
NBC News’ Pete Williams explains what the law sought to accomplish:
The pro-choice victory sent #SCOTUS soaring on Twitter, with tweets like these:
— Sweetie Bird (@SweetieBirdR) June 27, 2016
Man, #SCOTUS made great decisions today on the Abortion and Gun Law cases. This day is going great.
— Umair Asghar (@Uasghar92) June 27, 2016
— Myra (@meanderinggeny) June 27, 2016
Last fall, after Texas had already shuttered more than half of its clinic, the Texas Policy Evaluation Project conducted a study to see how the closures were affecting women. The project’s report revealed that in Dallas, women’s wait time for an abortion increased from an average of five to as long as 20 days.
Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said the following in a press release: “This research is a shocking reminder of how the state of Texas has knowingly undermined the fundamental rights of its citizens with laws that force women to unnecessarily delay their care or push access to safe, legal abortion entirely out of their reach.”
In the same press releases, Northup called the laws “sham laws” meant to “deny women their constitutional rights and access to essential health care.”
Thanks to SCOTUS, the ruling will hopefully prevent other states from passing similar “clinic shutdown” laws meant to restrict women’s access to care.