PLANNED PARENTHOOD OF THE GREAT NORTHWEST AND THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, June 27, 2016
CONTACT: Katie Rogers, Public Relations Manager, (206) 328-7705
U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down Texas Abortion Restrictions
Landmark Ruling Is An Enormous Win For Women
SEATTLE – Today, Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands (PPGNHI) applauds the U.S. Supreme Court in its landmark ruling protecting access to safe, legal abortion by blocking two unconstitutional Texas restrictions. These restrictions threatened to close all but nine health centers in the entire state that could provide abortion for the 5.4 million Texas women of reproductive age — down from approximately 40 health centers before passage of this dangerous law. As the Court recognized, “neither of these provisions offers medical benefits sufficient to justify the burdens upon access that each imposes.”
“Today is a great day. The Supreme Court made it clear that politicians cannot pass laws to block access to safe, legal abortion,” said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of PPGNHI. “As a health care provider, we have seen the dire consequences for women when access to abortion is restricted — with women traveling hundreds of miles, delaying care, or going without it at all. While we can celebrate today’s victory, this does not undo the past five years of damage and restrictions already written into law. No woman or doctor should be punished for receiving or providing essential medical care. We will continue to fight restrictions on safe, legal abortion on behalf of our patients across our four-state region. We will not be punished, and we will not go back.”
Blocking access to reproductive health care has real and disastrous consequences for all people. This often has a disproportionate impact on communities of color, who already face systemic barriers in accessing quality health care -- as National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, In Our Own Voice, and other Reproductive Justice organizations have demonstrated.
Planned Parenthood health centers in Texas witnessed firsthand the devastating impact of these restrictions when they temporarily went into effect in October 2014. Our Texas health centers were inundated with calls from frightened and upset patients and women were lined up outside our doors in the morning, waiting to see if they can still access the care they need. Doris Dixon, a call center director for Planned Parenthood in Houston, shared a heartbreaking account of a woman who traveled from out of state and stayed in Houston overnight, only to find that she couldn’t obtain a procedure, writing: “I don’t know what will happen to her. I don’t know that I will ever stop thinking about her. And she is just one woman whose life has been turned upside down by this law.”
A PerryUndem poll commissioned by Vox 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 see the Supreme Court overturn Roe vs. Wade.
Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands is the region's leading sexual and reproductive health care provider and advocate. We believe everyone has the right to choose when or whether to have a child, and that every child should be wanted and loved. The organization operates 28 health centers in Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, and Western Washington and provides medical services and sexuality education for thousands of women, men, and teenagers each year. Planned Parenthood is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization and relies heavily on charitable donations to ensure our patients' ability to determine their own destinies and receive the health care they need.
June 27, 2016