Leading pro-life groups were unanimous in their condemnation of today’s Supreme Court ruling overturning a portion of a Texas pro-life law requiring abortion facilities to follow reasonable protections for women’s health. They said the ruling will open the door to more Kermit Gosenells — referring to the jailed Pennsylvania abortion practitioner who notoriously killed and injured women at his shoddy Philadelphia abortion center.
Here’s a sampling of comments LifeNews received today from pro-life organizations:
“How shabby are these abortion clinics that they cannot meet the minimum standards other outpatient surgical centers are required to meet, and just how bad are these abortionists that they can’t get admitting privileges at a local hospital?,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “As we saw with Kermit Gosnell in Philadelphia, it’s clear that the lucrative abortion industry is not able or willing to police itself and allows filthy, deplorable conditions to go unchecked.”
“In the years following Roe v. Wade, the Court exhibited extreme hostility to regulation of abortion as a medical procedure,” said Tobias. “However, in its 1992 Casey decision, the Court turned a corner, rejecting the idea of it being ‘the country’s ex officio medical board’. Today, they reversed course and decided that they know better than representatives duly elected by the people of the United States.”
“Women lost today as the Supreme Court sides with the abortion industry, putting profits over women’s health and safety by opposing life-saving regulations and medically endorsed standards of patient care. Sadly, the commonsense laws that protect women in real, full service healthcare centers won’t be in effect in Texas abortion clinics, but Americans United for Life will continue to fight – in legislatures and in the courts – to protect women from a dangerous and greedy abortion industry,” said AUL Acting President and Senior Counsel Clarke Forsythe.
“In striking down these commonsense requirements, the Supreme Court has essentially accepted the abortion industry’s argument that it should be allowed to keep its profits high and patient care standards low,” said Forsythe. “It inexplicably turned a blind eye to what it has repeatedly held since Roe v. Wade: states may regulate the provision of abortion to protect maternal health. This ruling endangers women nationwide as health and safety standards are at risk.”
“Today’s abortion clinics are the true ‘back alleys’ of abortion mythology,” noted Denise Burke, Vice President of Legal Affairs at AUL. “They consistently operate in the ‘red light district’ of American medicine where the problem of substandard abortion providers is longstanding and pervasive. The fight against this public health crisis will continue, despite today’s ruling.”
Governor Greg Abbott today issued the following statement on the Supreme Court’s ruling on HB 2:
“The decision erodes States’ lawmaking authority to safeguard the health and safety of women and subjects more innocent life to being lost. Texas’ goal is to protect innocent life, while ensuring the highest health and safety standards for women.”
“The Supreme Court has sided with abortionists over women in this disturbing decision,” said Maria Gallagher, legislative director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, the Pennsylvania affiliate of National Right to Life. “Women’s health and safety could be severely compromised as a result of this ruling.”
“Before the revelations about Gosnell, hair and nail salons were more stringently regulated than abortion facilities. The Gosnell case clearly showed that the abortion industry has not been policing itself—that the state needs to step in to protect women. We are saddened that the Supreme Court has issued a ruling that could prevent future Gosnells from being put out of business,” Gallagher said.
“This is a tremendous loss for the women of America,” Gallagher added.
“Today’s Supreme Court ruling has essentially relegated women to second-class citizens when it comes to abortion by allowing abortionists to evade meeting basic safety standards that are proven to save lives,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “We must remember why these safety rules were enacted. When abortion facilities are exempt from meeting safety standards, conditions and practices deteriorate and women are placed in jeopardy. We saw that truth played out during the murder trial of Pennsylvania abortionist Kermit Gosnell, who killed Karnamaya Mongar and Semika Shaw during sloppy abortions at a squalid ‘House of Horrors.'”
The ACLJ filed an amicus brief with the high court on behalf of more than 156,000 Americans and several pro-life organizations urging the court to uphold the Texas law, arguing that “abortion is a procedure fraught with hazards.”
“The Court missed a critical opportunity to protect women by upholding common-sense safety standards for abortion clinics,” said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ. “It is disappointing that a majority of the court voted to reject these safety standards – disappointing but not necessarily surprising since the majority once again relied on the ‘abortion distortion’ factor in reaching its conclusion. This decision underscores the bias applied to the issue of abortion. Justice Alito summed it up best with his dissent: ‘The Court’s patent refusal to apply well-established law in a neutral way is indefensible and will undermine public confidence in the Court as a fair and neutral arbiter.’”
Sekulow added: “Sadly, the majority embraced the false narrative of the pro-abortion industry – that childbirth is more dangerous to a woman than getting an abortion. The assertion is not only inaccurate, it is patently false. And it’s troubling that the majority bought into this false narrative.”
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins released the following statement:
“The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down H.B. 2 undermines the health and safety of vulnerable women. This decision is a loss for women and gives the abortion industry a free pass. The need to regulate abortion facilities is necessary to protect women against cut-and-run abortionists at shoddy abortion facilities. Mandating basic and necessary health and safety standards such as trained staff, corridors that could accommodate a stretcher in case of emergency, admitting privileges to a hospital, and up-to-date fire, sanitation, and safety codes should be beyond the politics of abortion. When abortion facilities are not held to the same standards as other facilities, women’s lives are endangered. In 2011 alone, 26,500 women experienced abortion-related complications, and close to 3,200 women required post-abortion hospitalization. Hair and nail salons, public pools, restaurants, and tanning centers must meet basic health and safety standards—shouldn’t abortion facilities? Abortion facilities cannot be exempt from following basic health standards.
“While the need to protect the health and safety of women failed to remain at the forefront of the Supreme Court’s decision, we will continue our work to protect women and children from the predatory abortion industry,” Perkins concluded.
FRC’s Arina Grossu, Director of the Center for Human Dignity, released the following statement:
“One cannot be pro-woman and stand for the substandard facilities that many abortion centers operate which risk women’s lives. Striking down abortion facility regulations leaves the door open for continued and rampant disregard for women’s health and safety. Status-quo is not good enough,” concluded Grossu.
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The following statement is attributed to Joe Pojman, Ph.D., executive director of Texas Alliance for Life:
We are very disappointed with the Supreme Court’s decision. The State of Texas will be unable to fully implement HB 2’s common sense regulations to protect the health and safety of women at substandard abortion facilities. Our work to protect mothers and unborn babies from abortion will continue. We will scrutinize this decision, hostile as it is to reasonable safety regulations, to find ways to increase abortion facility safety regulations as much as possible.
Even if HB 2 were fully implemented, abortion would remain readily available in Texas. Nine enormous abortion facilities that meet the HB 2 safety standards will continue to operate in the major metropolitan areas — Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio — as well as a free standing abortion facility in McAllen and abortion facilities in New Mexico near to El Paso. The difference is that nine substandard facilities, all located near to these, will continue to operate.
We will continue to promote compassionate alternatives to abortion, including adoption, so that no woman seeks abortion because she feels she has no alternative.
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL): “With the Supreme Court issuing its final opinions of this term, we were reminded again of just how high the stakes are when it comes to appointing Justice Scalia’s successor. Kermit Gosnell is a name we should never forget, given the atrocities he committed against women and unborn children in unsafe and unsanitary conditions that inspired this Texas law. I’m incredibly disappointed that the Supreme Court has struck down what I believe is an appropriate response to make sure that women and unborn children aren’t ever again subjected to the atrocities that took place in Kermit Gosnell’s facilities. At every level of government, we should be doing everything we can to protect women and unborn children who may fall prey to abortion clinics led by butchers like Kermit Gosnell.”
Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), co-chair of the House Values Action Team, released the following statement: “This is a tragedy. With this decision, the court has put women in harm’s way, allowing abortion clinics to continue operating in dangerous conditions. Ensuring women’s safety when they are going in for surgery of any kind is not an undue burden, it is common sense. I am deeply disappointed in this decision.”
Eric Scheidler, Executive Director of the Pro-Life Action League, issued this statement:
“It is shameful to see a majority of the Supreme Court sacrificing public health and safety to prop up the abortion industry in Texas. If this case were about anything other than abortion, this law would have been upheld. Indeed, it would never have been challenged. Only the abortion industry balks at adhering to the same standards considered routine by legitimate health care providers.
“How many Kermit Gosnells will it take for public officials to uphold common sense health and safety standards for the abortion industry? In the wake of this irresponsible ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, pro-life activists will be redoubling our efforts to highlight the dangerous conditions at America’s abortion clinics — like the ambulances we see turning up regularly at abortion clinics around the country — in hopes that one day the abortion industry will be held accountable for endangering public health.”
Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06), a registered nurse and member of the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives, responded to the Supreme Court’s decision in Whole Woman’s Health vs. Hellerstedt:
“Today is a sad day for women and their unborn babies. With the drop of a gavel, five Supreme Court justices have endangered the safety of women who may seek an abortion and have ensured that more innocent, unborn lives will be lost in the process,” said Congressman Diane Black. “As a registered nurse, I know that there is ultimately no such thing as a safe abortion, but these modest standards work to reduce the risks of this already emotionally damaging procedure. The deep pockets of the big abortion industry may feel ‘burdened’ as a result of this compassionate law, but women are not – they are indeed safer as a result. This profoundly disappointing and cruel decision reinforces why the pro-life movement is more important than ever, and why the stakes are so high this November. Just as we worked for over a decade to overturn Planned Parenthood of Middle Tennessee vs. Sundquist in my state, we must now work to overturn this decision at the federal level and restore a culture where every child is welcomed in life and protected in law.”
“The Supreme Court has put women and preborn children in further danger with its decision to strike down basic health and safety standards for abortion facilities. The nightmares – from filthy, unsanitary equipment to women’s deaths – will continue at abortion facilities that remain virtually unregulated.
“The justices who have chosen to strike down Texas’s law reveal their extreme pro-abortion bias, going so far as to reject the established authority of states to enact laws to ensure the safety of their own citizens. Just as it did with its unjust decision in Roe v. Wade, the court has once again refused to recognize the basic human rights of the preborn child or the grave indignity that abortion does to women.
“The abortion lobby won today at the expense of the women it pretends to serve. As more and more Americans recognize the humanity of the child in the womb, the abortion lobby’s victory will be short lived.
“Polls show that people’s hearts and minds are changing on abortion as science now shows that human life begins at conception, but the court remains stuck in the anti-science, pro-abortion ideology of the 1970s.
“While no woman or preborn child is safe in an abortion facility, it ought to raise huge red flags that the abortion industry — while claiming the banner of ‘women’s health’ — is willing to compromise women’s safety by refusing to meet the same basic health and safety standards that most medical centers do. These types of laws are ones that everyone should be able to agree on.
“As Justice Alito wrote in his dissent, Kermit Gosnell’s abortion house of horrors would have been closed down, and a woman’s and three infants’ lives would have been saved if these laws were in place in his state. It’s tragic and unjust that the Supreme Court refuses to acknowledge that abortion is a violent and brutal act against women and a horrific human rights abuse against children, stripping children of their first human right, which is life.”