Long Beach’s federal representatives—Congress members Janice Hahn and Alan Lowenthal—expressed support for the Supreme Court ruling that effectively struck down the Texas law that could have reduced the number of abortion clinics to roughly 10, from a high of 40.
The law consisted of two elements that dramatically restricted clinics in their ability to offer abortions, which the Supreme Court ruled placed an undue burden on women seeking the service. One part of the law required clinics to meet standards for ambulatory surgical centers, and follow all regulations concerning buildings, equipment and staffing. The other required doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges to nearby hospitals.
The decision came after the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans ruled, with a few small exceptions, that the law did not place an undue burden on women seeking abortions.
“We conclude that neither of these provisions offers medical benefits sufficient to justify the burdens upon access that each imposes,” wrote Justice Stephen G. Breyer in the ruling, according to the New York Times. “Each places a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking a previability abortion, each constitutes an undue burden on abortion access, and each violates the federal Constitution.”
“This morning I am extremely pleased with two major victories out of the Supreme Court. Their decision on Whole Women’s Health vs. Hellerstedt strikes down an onerous Texas law and is a victory for women not only in Texas but across the country,” said Hahn in a statement. “Women should be able to continue making their own health care decisions with respect and dignity. Furthermore, victims of domestic violence can sleep a little easier tonight knowing that their abusers will not be able to buy guns.”
“The Supreme Court has rightly affirmed what we all knew to be the law since Roe v. Wade—women have the right to make their own decisions when it comes to their bodies and their health,” said Lowenthal. “Imposing 'undue burdens’ on that right, as the majority opinion stated, not only violates the Constitution, but offers nothing in the way of protecting women's health. As Justice Ginsberg stated, ‘it is beyond rational belief,’ to believe such burdens do.”