The Supreme Court will hear an abortion case – the first to reach the court since 2007 – which may affect the constitutional right to abortion. The case will decide how much states can regulate abortion without violating women’s constitutional rights.
The case comes from Texas, where women must receive counseling, undergo an ultrasound and wait 24 hours before receiving an abortion. A law passed in 2013 in Texas calls to reduce the state’s number of abortion clinics from 42 in 2013 to 10, if the law goes into full effect. Currently there are 18 abortion providers in Texas. Already, many women in Texas have trouble accessing clinics. In 2011, 93 percent of counties with 35 percent of the female population in Texas did not have a clinic.
The ruling would affect the future of state regulation of abortion. Some states have enacted specific and strict standards for abortion-providing clinics, and many more states have attempted to enact similar laws. If Texas wins the case, other states could follow suit and impose greater restrictions on abortion procedures.
This is the first case on abortion to reach the high court since 2007, and the most important decision since 1992, when the court preserved the right to abortion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
The decision is expected to be released in late June when the presidential race will be in full swing. Abortion, a divisive issue between Democrats and Republicans, is one of the key moral issues affecting the presidential election.
The court will begin hearing arguments for the case in early March.
Information for this article was taken from guttmacher.org, nytimes.com, washingtonpost.com.