The Supreme Court is expected to rule Monday on the final Texas case this session. Passed in 2013, House Bill 2 requires physicians performing abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. Clinics must also meet the standards of ambulatory surgical centers.
According to the Center for Reproductive Rights, there are 19 clinics in the state of Texas that still perform abortions – down from 41 before the law was passed. If the Supreme Court allows it to stand, only 9 abortion clinics are expected to remain open.
Nan Kirkpatrick is executive director of the Texas Equal Access Fund which helps low-income women pay for abortions. While she’s eagerly awaiting Monday’s ruling, she says access to abortion in Texas has already suffered.
"Damage has already been done and there’s no going back on that. Our only hope is that the Supreme Court will decide to strike down the law and hopefully we’ll get some clinics back in those communities that are hundreds of miles from care," says Kirkpatrick.
Kyleen Wright, president of the pro-life group Texans For Life, says the restrictions in House Bill 2 make abortions much safer for women.
“We fervently hope the court upholds the restrictions that pretty much govern every other medical surgery. The last thing we want is two victims of abortion, baby and mom," she says. "Women seeking abortion deserve the same high standards of every other surgical patient and we hope and pray the court agrees.”