Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt
The Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt decision resulted in the biggest Supreme Court victory for abortion access in decades
In the landmark Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt case on June 27, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that two abortion restrictions in Texas are unconstitutional because they would shut down most clinics in the state and cause Texans an “undue burden” to access safe, legal abortion. The case exposed the lie that anti-abortion politicians have been peddling for years: that it’s somehow “safer” when the state imposes medically unnecessary, onerous restrictions on health centers and clinicians that provide abortions. With this historic decision, the Supreme Court reaffirmed the constitutional right to access legal abortion.
The Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt decision immediately struck down medically unnecessary restrictions in Texas that targeted abortion providers, requiring them to obtain often unattainable admitting privileges and adhere to prohibitively expensive building requirements (like down-to-the-inch dimensions for hallways and janitors' closets). Less than 24 hours after the ruling, efforts to enforce similar abortion restrictions in Alabama, Mississippi, and Wisconsin fell.