The Supreme Court, by a 5-3 vote, ruled in favor of abortion rights in a major case challenging an anti-abortion law passed in Texas. The majority opinion, written by Justice Stephen Breyer, struck down the legislation mandating clinics have admitting privileges with local hospitals and requiring they meet the same standards as surgical centers.
"We conclude that neither of these provisions offers medical benefits sufficient to justify the burdens upon access that each imposes," Breyer wrote. He said that the restrictions placed "a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking a previability abortion," amounted to an undue burden on abortion access," and were violations of the U.S. Constitution. He was joined by Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
Ginsburg wrote an additional opinion concurring with the majority. Justice Samuel Alito wrote a dissenting opinion, joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Clarence Thomas, who also wrote his own dissent.
The decision is a major victory for abortion rights advocates, who had argued the laws were not meant to protect women’s health, as the state claimed, but rather sought to limit abortion access. Other states have passed laws similar to Texas’ and their legality is now in question thanks to Monday's ruling.
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