Women Win: U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt

June 27 2016

Today the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed a woman’s constitutional right to make her own decisions about her health, family and future— no matter where she lives. By striking down the Texas law, HB2, the Court kept current clinics open in Texas, and set a precedent so that more clinics can open or reopen in the future.

“This is a win not just for women in Texas, but for women across the country,” stated Marcela Howell, founder and executive director for In Our Own Voice:National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda. “This decision sends a clear message to politicians set on denying women’s constitutional right to an abortion that these baseless and deceptive laws are unacceptable.”

Black women, young women, immigrant women and low-income women in Texas stand to benefit the most from this decision. The 725,000 Black women of reproductive age in Texas, plus the 12.5 million Black women in the other 20+ states with similar sham laws, will potentially be saved from higher costs, longer delays and extra steps when seeking an abortion thanks to the SCOTUS action. 

While the fight to protect women’s access to abortion services is far from over, today’s decision put politicians on notice that “when it comes to abortion, we trust Black women, all women, to make the important personal decisions that are best for themselves and their families,” added Howell. “This is the first step in ensuring that politicians stop playing politics with women’s lives.”

No one can fully know the circumstances of a woman facing a decision to end a pregnancy, and no one else can make that decision for her. Based on a national survey conducted by In Our Own Voice, an overwhelming majority (80 percent) of Black women and men agree when asked “regardless of how I personally feel about abortion, I believe it should remain legal and women should be able to get safe abortions.”

In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda is a national organization that seeks to highlight the voices of Black women at the national and state levels, on the issues of abortion rights and access, contraceptive equity and comprehensive sex education.

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