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Supreme Court abortion ruling ripples across U.S.

Jun 28, 2016, 4:34 PM EDT
(Source: Sarah Mirk/flickr)
(Source: Sarah Mirk/flickr)

The U.S. Supreme Court decision on Monday to strike down a Texas abortion law that would have closed many clinics continues to ripple across the U.S. -- on Tuesday, the court justices rejected bids by Mississippi and Wisconsin to revive similar laws.

Reuters reports that the laws in Mississippi and Wisconsin required doctors to have admitting privileges (just as the Texas law did), i.e., formal affiliations with hospitals within 30 miles of the abortion clinic, which would have disabled many doctors from practicing in abortion clinics. Alabama's admitting privileges requirement was abandoned as of Monday night as well, as the state’s attorney general said.

These now-defunct laws were one of many that these states, among others, have tried to implement in order to to effectively prevent clinics that perform abortions from operating. And, in many cases, they succeeded. Texas’s law put additional surgical center requirements on clinics, forcing some of them to close. Now, abortion providers in Texas have said they aim to reopen some clinics that have been shut down since the law was passed in 2013. Since that year, the number of abortion clinics in Texas dwindled from 41 to 19.

Women’s health organizations have praised the measure, lauding the Supreme Court for standing by women’s health and safety. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) went further in a statement, emphasizing that there is more work to do to reinforce the medicine and science behind abortion procedures, and to ensure women’s safety:

"In dozens of states, women are living under laws that impede access in a variety of ways, for example banning certain abortion procedures, setting gestational limits, mandating that medically inaccurate information be provided to patients, and more. None of these have a basis in medicine, and all of them represent political interference in the patient/physician relationship."

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