Texas Republicans Slam Supreme Court’s HB2 Ruling
Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-3 decision struck down a Texas law that critics argued unfairly targeted abortion clinics. Elected officials in Texas criticized the decision.
ABC News reports that the Supreme Court's decision struck down a 2013 Texas law which "required clinics providing abortion services to beef up their facilities to match walk-in surgical centers and mandated physicians performing abortions to have admitting privileges at local hospitals."
Justice Stephen Breyer, who wrote the majority opinion, said this:
We conclude that neither of these provisions offers medical benefits sufficient to justify the burdens upon access that each imposes. Each places a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking a pre-viability abortion, each constitutes an undue burden on abortion access, and each violates the federal Constitution.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg agreed in her opinion, adding that "...it is beyond rational belief that [the Texas law] could genuinely protect the health of women."
Key Republican officials in Texas reacted coldly to the SCOTUS decision.
"The decision erodes States' lawmaking authority to safeguard the health and safety of women and subjects more innocent life to being lost," said Texas Governor Greg Abbott. "Texas' goal is to protect innocent life, while ensuring the highest health and safety standards for women."
Texas Senator John Cornyn echoed Gov. Abbott's statement.
"Today 5 activist judges on the Supreme Court struck down key provisions of Texas' pro-life omnibus bill," said Sen. Cornyn. "This law not only protected unborn life, but required that doctors be qualified when providing life threatening procedures and that these procedures be done in a safe environment."
In an email statement, Sen. Ted Cruz argued that "the Supreme Court sided with abortion extremists who care more about providing abortion-on-demand than they do protecting women’s health."
Rep. Dustin Burrows of Lubbock framed the decision as "judicial activism."
"This decision will be remembered as a clear case of judicial activism where the Court completely disregarded its obligation to apply the rules in a neutral fashion, regardless of personal political beliefs," Burrows said.
State Senator Charles Perry defended the Texas law, saying that it "not only protected unborn life, but required that doctors be qualified when providing life threatening procedures and that these procedures be done in a safe environment." Sen. Perry added that the "fight is not over," saying that "next session we will revisit this issue to ensure both women and unborn children are protected."
Jodey Arrington, Republican Congressional candidate in District 19, said he was "thoroughly disappointed" in the decision.
"I believe that life is a gift from God, and that life begins at conception," Arrington said. "Our unborn children have a right to life. As your next Congressman, I will passionately defend the sanctity of life.”
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who co-wrote HB2, said in a statement that the decision is "a devastating blow to the protection of the health and safety of women in Texas."
Texas congressman Joaquin Castro, meanwhile, rebuked Gov. Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and more for passing HB2 in the first place, saying that they may have known it was unconstitutional but passed it anyway.
Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump had yet to make a statement regarding the decision as of the publishing of this story.
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, called the decision a "victory for woman in Texas and across America."