Thousands Rally on Steps of Supreme Court to Protect Access to Abortion
“The Court must strike down this law. A woman’s right to access abortion should not depend on her zip code.”
Washington, D.C. – This morning, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, which could impact a woman’s fundamental right to access safe, legal abortion for generations. This came as over three thousand advocates from across the country rallied on the steps of the Court, calling on it to protect access to safe, legal abortion.
If the court upholds the Texas law, it will mean that even though abortion is legal, it is effectively banned for women across Texas. Similar laws threaten access to safe, legal abortion across the country — including in Alabama, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Missouri, Mississippi. (View an animated GIF from Planned Parenthood showing how restrictive laws have slashed the number of health centers in the South.)
Statement from Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“The Court must strike down this law. A woman’s right to access abortion should not depend on her zip code. We were pleased the court seemed to recognize how these laws are medically unnecessary, and hurt women by placing an enormous burden on them. When this law went into effect in Texas, our health centers were flooded with calls from women who weren’t sure where they could now turn for care. If this law is allowed to stand, the rest of the country could go the way of Texas, with women unable to access abortion safely or legally across whole swaths of America. This cannot be the reality for women in the twenty-first century. That’s why thousands of activists have come to rally on the steps of the Supreme Court today, to make it clear that we won’t go back.”
Planned Parenthood has already seen the devastating consequences for Texas women — and what could become a reality for women across the country if the Court upholds the Texas law. Researchers found that some women are already waiting as long as 20 days to access abortion in Texas. And the situation for women could get even worse. If the Supreme Court allows all of the 2013 Texas restrictions to go into full effect, the 5.4 million women of reproductive age in the state will be left with only 10 health centers that provide safe, legal abortion in the entire state — down from approximately 40 health centers before passage of this dangerous law.
A PerryUndem poll commissioned by Vox and released this week found that the majority of Americans oppose restrictions meant to shutter health centers or make it more difficult for women to access abortion, and that 70 percent of Americans don’t want to overturn Roe vs. Wade.
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 approximately 700 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.
March 02, 2016