Today, the Supreme Court of the United States denied review of two appellate court rulings blocking abortion restrictions in Mississippi and Wisconsin that require local hospital admitting privileges. Late yesterday, the Alabama Attorney General announced that it would end its appeal of a decision finding a similar state law unconstitutional. This follows the Court’s landmark ruling yesterday that struck down two Texas restrictions that threatened to decimate access to safe, legal abortion, one of which is virtually identical to the Alabama, Mississippi, and Wisconsin laws. As the Court wrote about the unconstitutional Texas restrictions, “neither of these provisions offers medical benefits sufficient to justify the burdens upon access that each imposes.”
This means that the Wisconsin and Alabama cases are over, and those states’ admitting privileges restrictions are permanently blocked. The Mississippi case will go back to the trial court that already preliminarily blocked the law so that it may consider whether to permanently block the law -- which it already found would close the only abortion in the entire state.
The Alabama and Wisconsin cases were brought by attorneys from Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the American Civil Liberties Union. The cases in Mississippi and Texas were brought by the Center for Reproductive Rights.
Statement from Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“As the news in Alabama, Wisconsin, and Mississippi shows, yesterday’s landmark ruling was just the beginning. This decision has opened the door to go state by state, legislature by legislature, law by law, and restore access to safe, legal abortion. These unconstitutional laws punish women by blocking safe medical care -- and they will not stand. We will not stop fighting until every person can make their own personal medical decisions about abortion -- no matter who they are, or where they live.”
Statement from Jennifer Dalven, director of the reproductive freedom project at the ACLU:
“The Supreme Court’s decision made crystal clear that politicians can no longer rely on sham justifications to stop a woman who has decided to have an abortion from getting one. But this is just a beginning: States have passed more than 1,000 restrictions on a woman’s ability to get an abortion. This means for many women the constitutional right to an abortion is still more theoretical than real and there is much more work to be done to ensure that every woman who needs an abortion can actually get one.”
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With over 650 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433
June 28, 2016