Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts reacts to landmark ruling

Boston – Today, the Supreme Court of the United States in a landmark ruling protected access to safe, legal abortion by blocking two unconstitutional Texas restrictions that threatened to close all but nine health centers in the entire state that could provide abortion for the 5.4 million Texas women of reproductive age — down from approximately 40 health centers before passage of this dangerous law. As the Court recognized, “neither of these provisions offers medical benefits sufficient to justify the burdens upon access that each imposes.”

In response, Planned Parenthood has vowed to redouble its efforts to fight restrictions on safe, legal abortion across the country. Since 2011, state lawmakers have passed more than 316 restrictions on safe, legal abortion, and have introduced 442 in the first six months of 2016 alone, according to Guttmacher. In Massachusetts, sexual and reproductive health advocates have worked tirelessly to expand access to sexual and reproductive health while blocking routine attempts by a vocal minority to introduce medically unnecessary restrictions to safe, legal abortion

Statement from Dr. Jennifer Childs-Roshak, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts:

Today is a great day. The Supreme Court made it clear that politicians cannot pass laws designed to block access to safe, legal abortion. Still, today’s victory does not undo the past five years of damage and restrictions already written into law in Texas and many states across the country. No woman or doctor should be punished for receiving or providing high quality, safe and appropriate medical care. We will continue to protect access to safe, legal abortion on behalf of our patients in Massachusetts and will stand in solidarity with women nationwide. We will not go back.

Statement from Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

 This landmark ruling is an enormous victory for women. We are thrilled the Court recognized that these laws do not enhance patient safety -- rather, they punish women by blocking access to safe abortion. Yet far too many women still face insurmountable barriers, which is why we are taking this fight state by state. It’s time to pass state laws to protect a woman’s constitutional right to abortion, and repeal ones that block it. A person’s right to make their own decisions about abortion shouldn’t depend on who they are or where they live. 

Blocking access to reproductive health care has real and disastrous consequences for all people. This often has a disproportionate impact on communities of color, who already face systemic barriers in accessing quality health care -- as National Latina Institute for Reproductive HealthIn Our Own Voice, and other Reproductive Justice organizations have demonstrated.

PerryUndem poll commissioned by Vox found that the majority of Americans oppose restrictions meant to shutter health centers or make it more difficult for women to access abortion, and that 70 percent of Americans don’t want to see the Supreme Court overturn Roe vs. Wade.