To the surprise of no one, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote a strongly worded concurrence when the Supreme Court of the United States voted 5-3 to strike down parts of the 2013 Texas anti-abortion law Monday. Before the ruling, doctors at abortion clinics in the state had to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. Also, the facilities had to meet the standards of an outpatient surgical center.
Even though RBG’s concurrence was less than 400 words, her succinct passage was filled with punchy quotes. Some of the lines have been provided below:
1. “In truth, ‘complications from an abortion are both rare and rarely dangerous.'”
2. “The Texas law called H.B. 2 inevitably will reduce the number of clinics and doctors allowed to provide abortion services.”
3. “Many medical procedures, including childbirth, are far more dangerous to patients, yet are not subject to ambulatory surgical center or hospital admitting-privileges requirements.”
4. “It is beyond rational belief that H.B. 2 could genuinely protect the health of women, and certain that the law 'would simply make it more difficult for them to obtain abortions.'”
5 . “When a state severely limits access to safe and legal procedures, women in desperate circumstances may resort to unlicensed rogue practitioners, faute de mieux, [for want of a better alternative] at great risk to their health and safety.”
Read her full statement on page 46 here.
Also in the majority were Justices Anthony Kennedy, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito were dissenters.
Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat remains open after his February death. Even though President Barack Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland, the Republicans in the Senate have refused to take any action on it.
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