NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) – In a case also involving 13 other states and the District of Columbia, New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced a friend-of-the-court briefing that asks the Supreme Court of the United States to invalidate two Texas law provisions that restrict access to abortion services in that state.
One provision requires doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital and the other requires clinics to comply with the standards for surgical clinics. These provisions were purportedly enacted for women’s health reasons. A trial court, however, found the provisions would not protect women’s safety and may even hinder it.
The regulations closed the only clinic in the western part of Texas. The same court determined that this did not substantially burden Texas women, as they could go across the border to a nearby New Mexico clinic. The amicus brief that Schneiderman and others filed claims that each state needs to rely on its own land when protecting the constitutional rights of its citizens, not rely on the services of neighboring states.
“The Constitution protects a woman’s right to access abortion services,” Schneiderman said. “Yet we are seeing a proliferation of burdensome abortion restrictions such as those at issue here that are touted as public health measures, but do not actually promote women’s health or safety and stand contrary to medical evidence. We urge the Supreme Court to rule that states cannot adopt baseless restrictions that burden or deny the constitutional right to access abortion services.”