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Chicken-Fried News: Ridiculous requirements

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The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-3 ruling, recently struck down a Texas abortion law.

The law required doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and clinics to “meet hospital-like outpatient surgery standards,” Associated Press recently reported.

Reporters at CNN Politics called the ruling “the most significant decision from the Supreme Court on abortion in two decades.”

The assenting judges’ opinion on the law was clear and shed light on the duplicity of similar laws enacted across the country.

“There was no significant health-related problem that the new law helped to cure,” Justice Stephen Breyer wrote in the majority opinion. “We agree with the District Court that the surgical-center requirement, like the admitting-privileges requirement, provides few, if any, health benefits for women, poses a substantial obstacle to women seeking abortions and constitutes an ‘undue burden’ on their constitutional right to do so.”

A similar Oklahoma law passed in 2014 is being challenged by Center for Reproductive Rights, based in New York. The advocacy organization argues that the law threatens one of only two clinics currently open in the entire state of Oklahoma.

“Just like [the Texas] requirement, it serves no health or safety purpose,” Genevieve Scott, staff attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights, told Associated Press.

Scott also called the law “presumptively unconstitutional.”

Associated Press reported that Gov. Mary Fallin has endorsed 18 laws that restrict women’s access to reproductive services, and Center for Reproductive Rights has filed challenges against eight of them in the last four years.

Associated Press reported “Julie Burkhart, founder and CEO of Trust Women … said the nation’s highest court has repeatedly upheld a woman’s constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy and said states can’t enact unreasonable burdens for women to exercise that right.”

Trust Women is an abortion provider based in Wichita, Kansas. Its mission is to open clinics in underserved areas. Trust Women South Wind Women’s Center is supposed to open in Oklahoma City this summer.

“There is a lack of access for women’s health care in Oklahoma in general,” Burkhart said in a media release. “Women in Oklahoma are underserved.”

Burkhart also told Associated Press the Oklahoma Legislature’s focus on this type of legislation takes its attention away from vital public services.

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