On June 27, the Supreme Court made a landmark decision on abortion access, ruling that Texas’ dangerous, medically unnecessary abortion restrictions—which were designed to shut down clinics but billed as “helpful” to women—are, in fact, unconstitutional.
Abortion rights advocates and Planned Parenthood affiliates in all corners of the country celebrated, and Minnesota was no exception. Hear from these fierce advocates about what the decision means to them:
When the Supreme Court handed down a favorable decision in Whole Woman’s Health v Hellerstedt, I burst into tears. As a native Texan who was part of the Orange Army back in 2013, it felt incredible to be able to celebrate the victory with my fellow Planned Parenthood supporters in Saint Paul. I was also proud to share the historic decision with my two daughters, both of whom were with me when I testified against HB2 before the Texas Senate Committee on Health and Human Services. An evening spent coloring pictures of the Notorious RBG alongside fellow repro rights supporters was the perfect way to celebrate our win and to inspire us towards the victories ahead.
Everyone knows the work of Planned Parenthood is met with constant opposition. Whether it is fighting abortion stigma or making sure health care is readily available to all, it is an uphill battle, with no breaks and few reasons to celebrate. On June 27, 2016, advocates finally had a reason to step back and admire the work we and other allies across the country are doing. SCOTUS ruled Texas’ TRAP laws were an undue burden, striking down the laws as unconstitutional. This ruling set a precedent in which similar TRAP laws in other states could be revoked. A right is not a right if you cannot access it. These TRAP laws sought to turn back the progress made by Roe. The failure of these bigots, and the tireless work of Whole Woman's Health and the Center for Reproductive Rights, was worth celebrating! Being at the event, I knew I was watching history in the making. Surrounded by Planned Parenthood employees, volunteers, and advocates, I felt confident that this is just one of many pro-choice wins I will experience in my lifetime.
Minnesota State Senator Scott Dibble
The recent 5 to 3 SCOTUS decision on Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt was a banner day for women and for human rights in our country. It was a strong decision, and likewise, the consensus on the part of the court was strong. It was an affirmation of the rights of women and all people, rather than a huge step backwards it might have been. This was, of course, the end of a long journey, started by Senator Wendy Davis and the incredible 11 hour filibuster fight she waged back in 2013 which galvanized good people in Texas and across the country. I was right there cheering her on via Facebook and Twitter. It was definitely a day for celebration.