Sometimes, Good Wins

Good can mean a lot of different things. In this case, “good” means “good for women’s reproductive health and the right to make decisions for themselves”.

In a 5-3 decision this morning, the US Supreme Court struck down a Texas law requiring that abortion clinics have admitting privileges at the nearest hospital and set themselves up as ambulatory surgical centers. This law has been replicated in different states to varying degrees (MO, MI, PA, TN, ND and VA). Some states require that clinics have hospital admitting privileges, some states require that clinics become surgical centers. As you can imagine, the laws severely restrict a woman’s ability to obtain what is still a legal surgical procedure.

Justice Stephen Breyer wrote the majority opinion for the court. You can find the whole thing, including Justice Ginsberg’s concurrence (which you really should read – it’s pretty short for a judicial opinion) right here (link to .pdf). To make a 40+ page opinion short, Justice Breyer ruled that yes indeed, the TX law posed an undue burden on women seeking an abortion. Let me say it a little louder: abortion is a legal surgical procedure in the US, and it benefits everyone if it’s made as safe as possible.

I want to leave you with a bit of Justice Ginsberg’s concurrence:

When a State severely limits access to safe and legal procedures, women in
desperate circumstances may resort to unlicensed rogue
practitioners,
faute de mieux, at great risk to their health
and safety.

*”Faute de mieux” – for lack of a better term.

I may or may not have teared up a little reading this.

I am an adoptive parent. Many people feel that I must be “pro-life”. Which, by my definition, I am. I value the lives of humans who are here, including women who are pregnant, and their ability to decide what happens before and after a pregnancy on their own with the assistance of their physician is important to me.

This fight is not over. I don’t know if it ever will be truly over. But for today, it’s been ruled on by the justices of the highest court in our country. Today, this battle’s done.

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