Abortion Back at the Supreme Court—What to Read

Today we hear oral arguments in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, the Supreme Court’s most significant abortion rights case since Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992). At issue is a Texas law that requires abortion providers to comply with the same health regulations that apply to ambulatory surgical centers and that requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. As we await reports from the Court, here are some readings that illuminate the issues.

Check out Health Affairs Blog for a detailed critical analysis of the effects these regulations would have on access to abortion in Texas. The conclusion: not only would the law do little to make abortions safer, but, by reducing the number of abortion providers, it would have potential harmful health effects.

At the Atlantic, Garrett Epps argues that precedent requires the Court to strike down these abortion regulations. The 5th Circuit ruling that upheld the Texas regulations, he argues, “verges on old-fashioned defiance” of Supreme Court precedent.

On the other side, turn to the Washington Examiner to read the president of Students for Life of America defend the Texas regulations as a necessary fix for a an area of health services rife with safety issues.

Which way will the Court go? For some efforts to get into the head of the likely swing vote in the case, Justice Kennedy, go here and here.

The New York Times published a fascinating profile of the lawyers who will argue the case before the Supreme Court. The Times also has a helpful Q&A on the abortion case.

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