CHOICES celebrates our country’s highest court taking up a case challenging restrictions that claim to be about women’s health when in fact politicians simply want to push abortion care out of reach.
(Memphis, TN) – Statement by Rebecca Terrell on the announcement on Friday that the Supreme Court will hear Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole, a case challenging the restrictions created by Texas House Bill 2 that would result in the closure of more than three-quarters of the clinics across the state:
“In Tennessee, we certainly know what it is like to have politicians push through legislation that claims to be about safety when the true intent is to make abortion care harder to get. Abortion care is safe and providers uphold the strongest standards of care and yet we saw two bills passed this session to create intrusive, medically unnecessary regulations.
We have been watching this case closely. At the core are questions around the undue burden created by the types of restrictions that House Bill 2 imposed and the fact that bills like these are moved under false pretenses and often utilizing misinformation to push them through and put abortion care out of reach. Sadly, it has worked. In Texas, a state with more than 5 million women of child bearing age, these requirements could close all but 9 or 10 clinics. It would leave some areas of the state without any access to abortion care unless a person is able to travel hundreds of miles.
The two requirements that are being challenged in this case include that doctors who provide abortion services must obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital no farther than 30 miles away from the clinic and that any facility providing abortion care must meet the specifications of an ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs).
As we look towards the Whole Woman’s Health case being heard as early as March, we are also awaiting our own day in court next fall. The Center for Reproductive Rights filed a challenge in federal district court in Nashville this past June on behalf of Bristol Regional Women’s Center, The Women’s Center, and CHOICES: Memphis Center for Reproductive Health. This suit is taking on Tennessee’s own admitting privileges requirement and ambulatory surgical center regulations.
Whether by forcing a woman to delay health care or advancing measures targeting reproductive health care clinics for closure, politicians are clearly fixated on coming between a woman and her health care provider. The women of Tennessee and across this nation deserve better. They should be able to access safe abortion care when they need it without interference from lawmakers who do not know them, do not know about their health or their life or their hopes or dreams. We should each be able to make our own decisions about pregnancy, parenting, and abortion. For us the Texas case and the lawsuit here in Tennessee are about values, the values of privacy and dignity in medical care and the importance of bodily autonomy.”
Rebecca Terrell is available for interview up on request.
Contact: Rebecca Terrell, Executive Director, 901-791-9383 or firstname.lastname@example.org.