Today, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it will hear two cases challenging Texas’ ban on abortion after six weeks of pregnancy (SB 8). The court declined to rule on a request to block the ban until it hears the cases on November 1. Read more in this press release from the Center for Reproductive Rights.
Here’s what our President & CEO, Amy Hagstrom Miller, had to say about the news.
That is how long we have been forced to act as agents of the state and deny hundreds of our patients the abortion care they need and deserve. Today’s Supreme Court announcement forces us to continue turning our patients away.
Texans deserve so much better.
While we are encouraged that the Court did grant cert in the two cases challenging SB 8, the injunctive relief should have been reinstated. Whole Woman’s Health clinics SHOULD have been able to resume a full scope of services today, and our staff SHOULD have been allowed to provide compassionate, holistic abortion care once again without this 6-week ban. As Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote, “I cannot capture the totality of this harm in these pages. But as these excerpts illustrate, the State (empowered by this Court’s inaction) has so thoroughly chilled the exercise of the right recognized in Roe as to nearly suspend it within its borders and strain access to it in other States. The State’s gambit has worked. The impact is catastrophic.”
Indeed, the impact of the last two months cannot be overstated. Whole Woman’s Health staff and doctors have been forced to deny abortion care to people who come to us for care we are skilled and trained to provide. Our staff have been forced to turn away patients who are their neighbors in their own communities. And Texans have been forced to remain pregnant against their will or to leave the state to get care that Whole Woman’s Health should be able to provide right here at home.
Through their exhaustion and heartache and weeks of legal whiplash, Whole Woman’s Health clinic staff and doctors have shown up every day since this law first took effect, caring for each other and the few patients that we are able to see with remarkable dignity and resilience. I continue to be in awe of the grit and compassion demonstrated every day by Texas abortion providers, our allies, abortion funds, and those who support us. With today’s ruling, we remain hamstrung, but committed.
The Supreme Court has promised for nearly 50 years that abortion is protected by our Constitution, yet today they are allowing extremists to continue depriving Texans of their rights. Our opponents know exactly what they’re doing with this law, what toll it exacts on clinics and our staff, and we know they will stop at nothing until they get their way and push abortion care out of reach entirely. But we’re not going anywhere. Our 4 Texas clinics remain open, and we remain committed.
Our fight is far from over. Providing abortion care is a moral good and access to abortion makes our communities safer. To all the Texans and people all over the country and all over the world who are watching and who are with us, who have been speaking up, and to those who may need abortion care, let us be clear: just as we have been in the past, Whole Woman’s Health is here for you, and we are here for the long haul.