On Friday the 13th, we saw the back door to repealing Roe v. Wade creak open.
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear Whole Women’s Health v. Cole, a case that will determine whether politicians can shred the Constitution and end abortion by preventing women from accessing legal health services. Anti-choice politicians are using this case to chip away at four decades of the Supreme Court precedent protecting women’s rights to safe, legal abortion.
Anti-choice Texas politicians passed a clinic shutdown law that set impossible, and medically unnecessary, standards for health care providers. Prior to this law, Texas had more than 40 facilities providing abortions that served women throughout the state’s vast expanse. If the shutdown caucus wins this case, that number will shrink to nine or ten.
Under the law, today a woman in Texas can be forced to wait up to 26 days—up from an average of five days in 2013–for an appointment, and drive more than 500 miles to get there. The Supreme Court now has the opportunity to reaffirm our nation’s commitment to women’s health care rights and basic dignity.
Whole Women’s Health v. Cole will be argued and decided in the shadow of the presidential campaign, with the decision expected in June, just a few months before the election. As voters await the Justices’ decision, they will ask themselves, whom do I want filling the next vacancies on the Supreme Court? Ted Cruz or Hillary Clinton?
The most significant abortion ruling in 20 years proves beyond any doubt that for women, the stakes in the next election couldn’t be higher.