Black Women’s Groups Ask Supreme Court to Overturn Pro-Life Law Protecting Babies From Abortion

National   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jan 6, 2016   |   5:36PM   |   Washington, DC

A dozen black women’s groups are coming together to urge the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a Texas pro-life law credited with saving more than 10,000 unborn babies’ lives.

Under the name In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, the 12 groups filed an amicus brief to the high court, claiming that the life-saving law will have a “devastating impact” on black women in Texas, according to the Atlanta Daily World.

In the amicus brief, the groups claim that the law jeopardizes “the reproductive health care of the more than 725,000 reproductive-aged black women living in Texas” because the law resulted in many Texas abortion clinics closing. The Supreme Court case name is Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole.

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed in November to hear the Texas case. The legislation, House Bill 2 (HB2), requires abortion facilities to meet the same safety standards of other Ambulatory Surgical Centers in the state, ensures that abortionists have admitting privileges at a local hospital, and bans painful later abortions on fully-formed babies. The 2013 law has been credited with saving the lives of more than 10,000 unborn children.

The admitting privileges portion of the law was the portion responsible for closing abortion clinics and, because so many shut down or stopped doing abortions, abortion advocates argue that the law constituted an undue burden on women.

The black women’s groups claim that the law added significant travel time and longer waiting periods for Texas women seeking abortions, as well as other reproductive health services, according to the report.

“Black women already face systemic barriers to quality, affordable reproductive health care, this law just exacerbates that harm,” said Marcela Howell, executive director of In Our Own Voice. “The law’s practical effect is barring black women in Texas from exercising their legal right to an abortion.”



The black women’s groups ignored the devastating impact that abortion has on African American babies. Unborn black babies are targeted for abortions more than babies of any other race. In New York City alone, more black babies die in abortions than are given birth, according to data from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Research by Protecting Black Life found that Planned Parenthood targets minorities by placing 79 percent of its abortion clinics in minority neighborhoods.

Joining In Our Own Voice in the amicus brief are the following black women’s groups: The Afiya Center (TX),Access Reproductive Care-Southeast (GA), Black Women for Wellness (CA), Black Women’s Health Imperative(national), New Voices for Reproductive Justice (PA), SisterLove, Inc. (GA), SisterReach (TN), SisterSong – National Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective (national), SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW! (GA),URGE – United for Reproductive and Gender Equity (national), and Women With a Vision (LA).

In December, a small group of Texas abortion facilities also filed a brief asking the Supreme Court to overturn the pro-life law.

“The abortion industry doesn’t like these laws because abortion clinics would be forced to spend money to meet basic health and safety standards” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “For them, this isn’t about ‘protecting’ the women they purport to help, it’s about preserving their cash flow.”

“If an abortionist closes up because he can’t meet these most basic medical standards, that’s a good thing for the mothers who would be targeted and the unborn children who would be killed,” said Tobias.

Texas Right to Life emailed LifeNews more about what the high court will do when it reviews the pro-life law.

“In considering HB 2, SCOTUS will consider the vague notion of “undue burden” as originally addressed in the Court’s 1992 ruling in Planned Parenthood v. Casey.  For over two decades, this nebulous standard has been used to dismantle Pro-Life legislation, and – although SCOTUS’ deference to the Fifth Circuit’s earlier ruling would have been a victory for HB 2 – the Pro-Life movement at large would welcome clarification of the tenuous “undue burden” standard,” it said.

“In their petition, CRR argued that HB 2 is at odds with the state’s interest to promote health since abortion mills have closed as a result of non-compliance with the increased safety standards set forth in HB 2,” Texas Right to Life added.

On the one hand, the abortion industry clamors for uninterrupted taxpayer funding for alleged “women’s healthcare,” denying the use fungible funds for abortion.  On the other hand, the abortion industry insists on the right to operate in the absence of the basic health and safety standards to which similar medical professions are held.”

“Until SCOTUS completes a review of the constitutionality of HB 2, the law’s safety standards are delayed from taking effect in Texas,” it noted.