March 02, 2016
March 2, 2016

Leah Brown
903.245.4695 (m)

WASHINGTON DC — Texas Alliance for Life staff is in Washington DC this week for the United States Supreme Court oral arguments in the case of Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. The arguments will begin at 10 AM (9 AM CT) and last for approximately one hour.

Several abortion providers have challenged two safety provisions of House Bill 2, a bill the Texas Legislature passed in 2013 by overwhelming margins. While dismissed by abortion providers in Texas as unnecessary, the state’s safety inspection reports of the lead plaintiff, Whole Woman’s Health, show numerous serious violations of current law that endanger the health and safety of the tens of thousands of patients on whom they perform abortions every year.

Texas Alliance for Life Staff Attorney, Erin Blauvelt Groff, summarized a lengthy list of health and safety violations at abortion facilities operated by Whole Woman’s Health. The article can be accessed here:

Whole Woman’s Health Fights HB 2’s Increased Abortion Safety Standards while Violating Current Safety Laws

The two challenged provisions of HB 2 raise the safety standards at abortion facilities. The first provision requires physicians who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. In the event of a serious complication that requires the woman to be rushed to an emergency room, the physician should be able to follow his or her patient and continue treatment at the hospital. Without privileges, the physician would essentially abandon the patient.

The second provision increases safety standards at licensed abortion facilities to the level of outpatient surgery centers (Ambulatory Surgical Centers or ASCs), which perform the same or similar procedures. Patients can expect that common outpatient procedures like colonoscopy or cataract removal will be performed in an ASC, the standard of care. Even dilation and curettage following a miscarriage will likely be performed in a hospital or ASC operating room.

“We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will recognize the need to implement these common sense safety standards to assure that abortions are not performed in a manner that puts the health and safety of women at risk in abortion facilities in Texas,” said Joe Pojman, Ph.D., executive director of Texas Alliance for Life.

Texas Alliance for Life also submitted an amicus (friend of the court) brief to the Supreme Court.

Students for Life of America is holding a news conference on the steps of the Supreme Court during the oral arguments, starting at 10 AM (9 AM CT). Joe Pojman, Ph.D., executive director of Texas Alliance for Life, is scheduled to speak at 10:53 AM (9:53 CT).