On 2 March 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court [SCOTUS] heard arguments for and against Whole Women’s Health vs. Hellerstedt, which is a pro-abortion challenge to the Texas law that abortionists shall follow medical health and safety standards to protect women seeking abortions.
The major regulation states that abortionists must have admitting privileges at a hospital within a 30-mile radius and operate under the same rules as any outpatient surgery facility.
Whole Women’s Health vs. Hellerstedt is the first abortion case the SCOTUS has agreed to hear since 2007, when it upheld the federal partial-birth abortion ban.
SCOTUS will decide whether abortion businesses must follow the law, as all other medical facilities do.
This decision will affect other states.
Currently, 29 states prescribe health and safety standards for abortion businesses, and 15 require abortionists to have admitting privileges at a local hospital, or to have patient transfer/covering physician agreements with another doctor who has hospital privileges, in order to ensure knowledgeable care for the injured woman.
In early February 2016, OH AG Mike DeWine joined with 23 other states in the filing of an Amicus curiae (‘Friend of the Court’ brief) in support of the Texas law, which is similar to Ohio’s law. Many other briefs have been filed on both sides, and the present administration also filed its own brief in opposition to the Texas law.
SCOTUS is expected to release its decision in June 2016.
[April-May 2016, Cincinnati Right to Life Ed. Fdn. Inc. News Brief]