November 13, 2015

November 13, 2015

Contact: Leah Brown
512.477.1244 (o)

WAHSINGTON, DC — Today the United States Supreme Court agreed to consider a challenge to the abortion facility safety regulations of House Bill 2 (HB 2) in the case of Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole.

The following statement is attributed to Joe Pojman, Ph.D., executive director of Texas Alliance for Life:

We believe that the Supreme Court will uphold the constitutionality of HB 2, just as the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has done twice.

HB 2 is a well-crafted bill that the Texas House and Senate passed by wide margins and then-Governor Rick Perry signed into law.

The goal of HB 2 is to ensure that abortions are not done in a manner that puts the health and safety of women at risk. First, it requires drug induced abortions to be performed in a manner consistent with FDA safety regulations. Second, it requires that physicians performing abortions have privileges at a local hospital so that, in the event of serious complications, the physician can follow his or her patient to a local hospital emergency room to continue treatment. Third, it requires abortion facilities to increase their safety standards to the level of ambulatory surgical centers.

While not our preference, the reality is that abortion will remain readily available in Texas and will continue to occur tens of thousands of times a year even if the Supreme Court allows HB 2 to go into effect. A number of abortion facilities with huge capacity already meet the HB 2 safety standards.

Currently, of the 19 abortion facilities operating in Texas, nine meet the safety standards of HB 2. They are located in Austin, Dallas (2), Fort Worth, Houston (2), and San Antonio (3). Ten abortion facilities are unwilling or are unable to meet the HB 2 safety standards, but all are located near other facilities that would not be affected by HB 2.

The date for oral arguments has not been announced, but it is expected to be in the coming months. The Supreme Court will likely decide the case in the spring or early summer.

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