AUL Represents State Legislators in Historic Supreme Court Case, Fights to Protect Health and Safety Standards for Women Vulnerable to Abortion Industry Abuses
“At every turn, the abortion industry fights health and safety standards that offer real protection to women, going to court to keep profits high and standards low,” said AUL’s Dr. Charmaine Yoest.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (02-03-16) – Americans United for Life, the nation’s leading advocate of protecting women’s health through commonsense legislation, filed an amicus curie (friend of the court) brief today, along with co-counsel the Bioethics Defense Fund, in the most significant abortion case before the Supreme Court in decades, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, formerly known as Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole. On the brief, AUL represents legislators from across the nation and demonstrates to the Court that state efforts to protect women through reasonable health and safety standards must be upheld for reasons of common sense and medical reality. “At every turn, the abortion industry fights health and safety standards that offer real protection to women, going to court to keep profits high and standards low and ignoring the severe medical risks to women exposed to the reality of abortion in America,” said AUL President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest. “AUL’s legal team is proud to stand with men and women from across the country – more than 460 Republicans and Democrats – who are working to protect life in law in their states.”
“This historical case provides an important opportunity for the Supreme Court to affirm its support of laws that protect women’s health,” Dr. Yoest noted. “After more than four decades of the abortion industry’s recalcitrant opposition to meaningful oversight, the Supreme Court must unequivocally affirm that it meant what it has said as far back as Roe: states may regulate abortion to protect a mother’s health.”
The case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, involves Texas House Bill 2, a measure enacted in 2013 with a number of life-affirming provisions. Placing profit above women’s health, abortion providers challenged provisions requiring them to meet the same health and safety standards as ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs), as well as to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. In June 2015, the Fifth Circuit upheld the provisions, and abortion providers appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court in their continued effort to avoid compliance with the commonsense requirements.
AUL has been active in this case since its inception. In addition to providing expert consultation on the constitutionality of HB 2 before and after it was enacted, AUL filed an amicus brief in the Fifth Circuit on behalf of Texas Legislators.
AUL’s current brief, (available here), was filed on behalf of more than 460 public officeholders from states with provisions similar to the Texas health and safety standards. The brief demonstrates that the Supreme Court has promised “wide discretion” to state lawmakers in the regulation of abortion and gives significant deference to legislative determinations as to the medical necessity for enacting health and safety regulations. Here, both the legislative record and the evidence before the trial court confirm that the State of Texas acted in the best interest of women, and the Supreme Court must uphold HB 2.
For more on the health risks of abortion for women, click here.