Supreme Court Strikes Down Women's Health Measures in Name of Abortion Access
"A law either infringes a constitutional right, or not; there is no room for the judiciary to invent tolerable degrees of encroachment," Thomas wrote. "Unless the Court abides by one set of rules to adjudicate constitutional rights, it will continue reducing constitutional law to policy-driven value judgments until the last shreds of its legitimacy disappear."
Thomas would have upheld the laws, but another dissent, written by Justice Samuel Alito and joined by Chief Justice John Roberts, argued that the Supreme Court should have sent the laws back to lower courts to be decided only after more evidence was presented. Alito accused the justices who decided the case of creating new arguments against the Texas laws.
"Determined to strike down two provisions of a new Texas abortion statute in all their applications, the Court simply disregards basic rules that apply in all other cases," Alito wrote. "The Court favors petitioners with a victory that they did not have the audacity to seek."
Alito added that the two laws should have been dealt with separately, and that the Court should not have struck down the entire law. "If some applications are unconstitutional, the sever ability clause plainly requires that those applications be severed and that the rest be left intact. ... How can the Court possibly escape this painfully obvious conclusion." He mocked the decision, saying the Court argued "it need not honor the sever ability provision because doing so would be too burdensome."
Apart from the legal arguments, there is a truly terrifying part of this case. According to reports in 2013, there was a "second Kermit Gosnell" in Texas. Another example of an abortion doctor failing to keep his clinic up to health standards and putting the lives of women at risk seems an apt reason to consider laws like H.B.2 at least understandable.
"How shabby are these abortion clinics that they cannot meet the minimum standards and 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?" asked Carol Tobias, president of the pro-life organization 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," Tobias added. She argued that "in the years following Roe v. Wade, the Court exhibited extreme hostility to regulation of abortion as a medical procedure."
This changed in the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision, when the Supreme Court rejected the idea of it being "the country's ex officio medical board," but in this case the Court "reversed course and decided they know better than representatives duly elected by the people of the United States."