Hb 2s Imposed Costs On Women Seeking Abortion
The National Womens Law Center , in support of petitioners, argues that Texas women seeking abortions face significant costs under H.B. 2. See Brief of Amici Curiae National Womens Law Center and 47 Additional Organizations Committed to Equality and Economic Opportunity for Women , in Support of Petitioners at 16. The NWLC contends that H.B. 2 will force women to travel long distances to obtain an abortion, which will financially burden poor women reliant on public transportation to travel. Seeid.at 17. The NWLC asserts that women will also have to incur hotel expenses and childcare costs, which will be higher considering the time pressure associated with obtaining an abortion. Seeid.at 1719. The NWLC notes that women engaged in low-wage work face unpredictable work schedules and risk losing employment if they adjust their schedule to obtain an abortion. See id.at 19. The NWLC concludes that if women cannot obtain abortions due to the burden of long-distance travel, they face health risks, substantial healthcare costs, reduced educational opportunities, and poor economic security. See id.at 2733.
Questions As Framed For The Court By The Parties
1a. When applying the Due Process Clause standard associated with the Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey decision, does a court err by refusing to consider whether and to what extent laws that restrict abortion for the stated purpose of promoting health actually serve the governments interest in promoting health?
1b. Did the Fifth Circuit err in concluding that this standard permits Texas to enforce, in nearly all circumstances, laws that would cause a significant reduction in the availability of abortion services while failing to advance the States interest in promoting healthor any other valid interest?
2. Did the Fifth Circuit err in holding that res judicata provides a basis for reversing the district courts judgment in part?
Similarly Situated Outpatient Facilities
Whole Womans Health argues that the Texas bill unnecessarily singles out abortion clinics for heightened medical regulation. Brief for Petitioner at 41. Whole Womans Health argues that Texas law lacks similar requirements for other outpatient physicians, who are permitted to perform routine procedures in their offices without obtaining admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and are not required to practice in an ASC. See id. at 42. This disparity in treatment, according to Whole Womans Health, indicates that the law has an impermissible purposeto place substantial obstacles in the path of women seeking abortions in Texas. Id.at 43.
Hellerstedt contends that Whole Womans Healths assertion that the State cannot treat similarly situated outpatient physicians differently lacks support. See Brief for Respondent at 33. Instead, Hellerstedt contends that the State is not required to reform all of its medical regulations or none at all. See id. at 43. Further, Texas law does require that outpatient facilities performing certain kinds of surgery register with the State and meet certain minimum safety standards. See id. at 44.
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Whole Womans Health V Hellerstedt Case Brief
Statement of the Facts:
Texas House Bill 2, enacted in 2013, included two provisions that were obviously designed to limit access to abortions in Texas. The first provision, the so-called admitting-privileges requirement, required that abortion physicians had admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of where the physician was performing an abortion. The second provision, the so-called surgical-center requirement, required that the minimum standards of an abortion clinic must match the minimum standards for ambulatory surgical centers.
Issue and Holding:
Do State law provisions that substantially restrict the number of abortion clinics that can legally operate in the State constitute an undue burden on a womans right to obtain an abortion? Yes.
The decision of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals is reversed.
Rule of Law or Legal Principle Applied:
State law provisions that place a substantial obstacle in front of a womans right to an abortion and offer no medical benefits sufficient to justify such obstacles violates the Constitution.
The Evidence Makes Clear that the 2 Requirements are Not Medically Necessary
The Fifth Circuits Legal Standard and Reasoning Were Fatally Flawed in Every Respect
The Texas Law Put an Undue Burden on a Texas Citizens Right to an Abortion
Concurring and Dissenting Opinions:
Dissenting Opinion :
Its A Win For Abortion Access In Texas But We Still Have A Long Way To Go
The decision in Whole Woman’s Health was a huge triumph for abortion access. However, the Texas law that the Supreme Court struck down in 2016 was nearly identical to a law at the center of a 2020 Louisiana case, which threatened to flout that precedent. Fortunately, on June 29, 2020 in the Supreme Court struck down Louisiana’s medically unnecessary law that would have made abortion virtually inaccessible in the state. It was another win for abortion access, but the fight isn’t over.
But right now, in states across the country, far too many people still face insurmountable barriers to safe, legal health care. A persons right to make their own decisions about abortion shouldnt depend on who they are or where they live. Its time to pass state laws to protect the constitutional right to abortion, and repeal ones that block it.
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Whole Womans Health V Hellerstedt
On June 27, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a historic decision striking down a Texas law designed to shut down most of the states abortion clinics with medically unnecessary restrictions.The decision in Whole Womans Health v. Hellerstedt reaffirms a womans constitutional right to access legal abortion, and will empower women to fight back against deceptive anti-choice laws in Texas and beyond.This decisive rejection of clinic shutdown laws marks the most significant abortion-related ruling from the Court in more than two decades, and will have national impact in states where similar laws threaten to shutter abortion clinics with medically unnecessary red tape. The State was ultimately ordered to pay over $2 million in attorneys fees and costs.
In 2013, Texas legislators passed HB2, a sweeping measure that imposes numerous restrictions on access to abortion, most notably the following requirements:
- doctors who provide abortion services must obtain admitting privileges at local hospitals no farther than 30 miles away from the clinic, and
- every health care facility offering abortion care must meet building specifications to essentially become mini-hospitals .
These requirements unfairly single out womens health care providers and do not apply to other, comparable medical procedures or practices. They serve only to drive reputable, experienced reproductive health care providers out of practice.
WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY
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What Do Justices Of The Peace Do
Justices of the Peace work broadly in two main areas of jurisdiction criminal law and provincial offences.
Criminal Law Jurisdiction
Justices of the peace preside:
- over virtually all bail hearings in the province, and
- in first appearance and remand courts .
- receive informations
- issue process in the form of summonses or warrants
- deal with applications for the issuance of search warrants and production orders under the Criminal Code
- deal with applications for peace bonds
- consider applications for warrants to seize weapons, and
- conduct weapons disposition and prohibition hearings.
Provincial Offences Jurisdiction
Justices of the peace exercise jurisdiction over the whole range of provincial offences and offences against municipal bylaws.
In this regard, their duties include:
- issuing process
- receiving applications for warrants, and
- presiding over provincial offence trials under statutes including the Highway Traffic Act, the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Trespass to Property Act, the Safe Streets Act, the Environmental Protection Act, the Liquor Licence Act, and the Consumer Protection Act, and the Dog Owners Liability Act, and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act.
In addition to the duties listed above, justices of the peace have a collection of other responsibilities, including:
Appointment of Justices of the Peace
The Significance Of Whole Womans Health V Hellerstedt
In Texas, the medically unnecessary mandates on admitting privileges and building requirements have been eliminated. That means the abortion providers left standing after Texas anti-abortion law passed were allowed stay open. The decision also made it possible for some of the health centers that Texas’s HB2 shuttered to reopen. Overall, it was a win for abortion access in Texas.
Beyond Texas, efforts to enforce similar abortion restrictions in three other states Alabama, Mississippi, and Wisconsin were thwarted less than 24 hours after the ruling.
The Whole Womans Health v. Hellerstedt ruling set a precedent that, at the time, was expected to strengthen constitutional protections for abortion access in the long-term.
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Whole Woman’s Health V Hellerstedt
|Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt|
|Full case name||Whole Woman’s Health Austin Women’s Health Center Killeen Women’s Health Center Nova Health Systems d/b/a Reproductive Services Sherwood C. Lynn, Jr., M.D. Pamela J. Richter, D.O. and Lendol L. Davis, M.D., on behalf of themselves and their patients, petitioners v. John Hellerstedt, M.D., Commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services Mari Robinson, Executive Director of the Texas Medical Board, in their official capacities|
|136 S. Ct. 2292 195 L. Ed. 2d 665|
|Prior||Injunction granted, 46 F. Supp. 3d 673, , staying injunction, 769 F.3d 285 , vacated in part, 135 S. Ct. 399 , affd in part, vacated in part, revd in part, 790 F.3d 563 , mandate stayed pending judgment 135 S. Ct. 2923 , cert. granted, 136 S. Ct. 499 .|
|Both the admitting-privileges and the surgical-center requirements place a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking a pre-viability abortion, constitute an undue burden on abortion access, and thus violate the Constitution.|
|Breyer, joined by Kennedy, Ginsburg, Sotomayor, Kagan|
|Alito, joined by Roberts, Thomas|
|Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization|
Hb 2s Effect On Womens Health Outcomes
The National Physicians Alliance, in support of petitioners, argues that H.B. 2 fails to promote better health care. SeeBrief of Amici Curiae National Physicians Alliance et al. , in Support of Petitioners at 12. The NPA contends that abortion involves minimum complicationsfor example, the risk of death during childbirth is fourteen times the risk of death during an abortion. See id.at 14. The NPA notes that Texass abortion mortality rate is lower than the national average, and that the majority of Texas abortions are performed in clinics rather than ambulatory surgical centers. See id.at 1516. On a similar note, former Texas State Senator Wendy Davis, in support of petitioners, argues that H.B. 2 fails to resolve any womens health problems. See Brief of Amici Curiae the Honorable Wendy Davis et al. , in Support of Petitioners at 5. Davis notes that the there were no abortion related maternal deaths in Texas from 20092013. See id.at 7. She also asserts that of the legal abortions performed in Texas in 2013, only five hundredths of one percent of women reported complications. See id.The United States, in support of petitioners, further argues that the admitting privileges requirement and the ASC requirement do not benefit womens health because in the past, abortions have been performed with minimal complications absent regulations. See Brief of Amici Curiae the United States, in Support of Petitioners at 19, 21.
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Whole Womans Health Contends That The Texas Law Substantially Reduces Access To Abortions In The State But Fails To Simultaneously Serve The States Interest In Womens Health See Brief For Petitioner At 33 The Law Must Have The Purpose Of Addressing A Valid State Interest And Must Effectuate The Change In The Least Restrictive Manner To Justify Imposing Obstacles On A Womans Constitutional Right To An Abortion Idat 34 Whole Womans Health Asserts That The Fifth Circuit Improperly Upheld The Law Based On A Rational Basis Test Requiring Only That The State Prove That It Had Some Rational Reason For Passing The Law See Id At 47 Instead Whole Womans Health Urges The Court To Weigh The Burden That The Regulation Places On Women Seeking Abortions Against The States Relative Interest In Protecting The Unborn Child And The Health Of The Mother See Id At 4546
Hellerstedt disagrees with Whole Womans Healths characterization of the undue burden test established by Casey, arguing that a balancing test is inappropriate and instead the Court must analyze whether the burden is so severe as to take away the ultimate decision to have an abortion. See Brief for Respondent at 20 . Further, Hellerstedt argues that state and federal legislatures have wide discretion to legislate in areas of medical or scientific uncertainty, and that the Court should not second-guess legislative decisions where there is sufficient evidence to support its action. See id.The State must only show that the regulation bears a rational relationship with some legitimate government purpose. See id. at 21 ). Hellerstedt argues that the regulations serve several valid purposes, including: evaluating physician competency, ensuring continuity of care, reducing miscommunications between doctors, and preventing patient abandonment. See Brief for Respondent at 33. With respect to the admitting privileges requirement, Hellerstedt argues that even the National Abortion Federation recommends that abortion providers obtain admitting privileges within twenty miles of an abortion clinic to facilitate transfer to hospitals in the event of a complication. See id. at 37.