Texas pro-lifers were dealt a difficult blow on Monday when the Supreme Court granted the abortion industry an eleventh hour reprieve on the full implementation of HB2. The granting of an emergency appeal allows many abortion facilities slated for closure to remain open at least until fall when the high court will issue a decision on whether to hear the appeal.
Pro-life Texas Gov. Greg Abbott responded to the ruling, expressing confidence it will be upheld:
“HB 2 was a constitutional exercise of Texas’ lawmaking authority that was correctly and unanimously upheld by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Texas will continue to fight for higher-quality healthcare standards for women while protecting our most vulnerable – the unborn, and I’m confident the Supreme Court will ultimately uphold this law.”
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton had some harsher words for the Supreme Court’s ruling, saying the measures were passed to protect women from harm and said the order places “Texas women in harm’s way” and subjects them to “substandard care.”
Meanwhile, two major pro-life agencies in Texas also expressed concern and disappointment.
Joe Pojman, Ph.D., executive director of Texas Alliance for Life, said:
“Unfortunately, for the time being, women who do not have abortions at any of the nine operating ambulatory surgical centers that perform abortions will continue to be subjected to substandard medical care. We remain optimistic that the Supreme Court will uphold the safety standards in House Bill 2 if they even decide to take the appeal.”
And Texas Right to Life issued a press release, saying:
“Although Texas Right to Life is disappointed that for at least three more months the abortion industry will be allowed to dodge higher medical standards in order to save money, a SCOTUS review of House Bill 2 could produce a significant Pro-Life victory. Such a hearing would undoubtedly result in clarification of the vague notion of “undue burden” established by SCOTUS in Planned Parenthood v. Casey in 1992. Since Casey, abortion proponents aiming at destroying every significant piece of Pro-Life legislation have gratuitously manipulated the elusiveness of the undue burden clause, and HB 2 was not immune to these tactics.
“The outcome of today’s SCOTUS ruling is that dangerous, substandard abortion mills will be allowed to remain open as Texas awaits definitive action from the Supreme Court. Every day that HB 2 provisions are blocked, Texas women and preborn children are subjected to the abortion industry’s profit-driven tactics, which have failed time and again to acknowledge their value.”