In the Magazine
People's Choice
Washington, D.C.—Bethany Van Kampen, left, hugs Alejandra Pablus as they celebrate during a rally at the Supreme Court on June 27, after the court struck down Texas's widely replicated regulation of abortion clinics. The justices voted 5-3 in favor of Texas clinics that had argued the regulations were a thinly veiled attempt to make it harder for women to get an abortion in the nation's second-most populous state. The regulations, which required abortion providers to install expensive equipment, construct or remodel office facilities and secure hospital admitting privileges, were passed by the state legislature in 2013. Doctors and experts in the field widely considered the mandates excessive, as the procedure itself is less invasive than most surgeries, rendering hospital-grade provisions medically unnecessary. They also questioned if the requirements were a means to legally force many clinics to close for financial reasons. Since 2013, Texas has lost nearly 80 percent of abortion clinics operating in the state. The ruling is the most significant decision from the Supreme Court on abortion in two decades and could serve to deter other states from passing laws impeding access to abortion clinics.