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Short-handed Supreme Court hears first abortion case in two decades




Supporters of legal access to abortion, as well as anti-abortion activists, rally outside the Supreme Court as the Court hears oral arguments in the case of Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt.
Supporters of legal access to abortion, as well as anti-abortion activists, rally outside the Supreme Court as the Court hears oral arguments in the case of Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt.
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

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The first major case to go before a post-Scalia, short-staffed Supreme Court looks at whether a Texas law puts an “undue burden” on a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion.

The case, “Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt,” is the first abortion case the High Court will consider in more than 20 years.

The Texas law in question, HB2, requires abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at local hospitals and abortion clinics to have similar building standards as ambulatory surgical centers.

Proponents of HB2 say these requirements ensure the safety of women seeking abortion in Texas, but opponents argue that they are unnecessary and have already led to the closure of many facilities in the state, essentially limiting women’s access to the procedure.

A decision is expected by June.

Guests:

David Gans, Civil Rights Director at the Constitutional Accountability Center, which filed an amicus brief on behalf of the petitioner

Linda Schlueter, President of Trinity Legal Center, a nonprofit litigation and legislation support center focused on women’s reproductive health issues based in San Antonio, Texas. It filed an amicus brief on the respondent in the case