During the last three years women's clinics across the state shut down because of strict requirements, some right here in Austin. Although clinics say they're happy about the ruling, it could be a while before some open back up.
The news of the Supreme Court striking down HB 2 was vindication for pro-choice advocates and abortion providers across Texas. They say a lot of damage was done.
“We have a lot of work to do to rebuild abortion access in Texas after the harm that HB 2 has done. It's closed so many clinics,” Rebecca Robertson, legal and policy director with ACLU said.
That Whole Women's Health right here in Austin. Health officials there say they plan to open back up, but it won't be soon.
“It will take time. This decision opens the door for that to happen as a possibility,” Dr. Bhavik Kumar, provider with Whole Women’s Health said.
Back in 2013 when Texas passed HB 2, it was the pro-life supporters who were celebrating. Now the roles are reversed.
“I am pleased and gratified the Supreme Court affirmed what we already knew: that there was no medical basis for this legislation,” Rep. Donna Howard, Texas House of Representatives, said.
“It’s extremely disappointing for us. Texas Right to Life was involved in the drafting, lobbying and research of HB 2 from the very beginning,” John Seago, legislative director with Texas Right to Life, said.
Seago and his group fought hard for HB 2.
“There were three policies in the bill with maternal health that raised the standards on chemical abortions, abortionist themselves having to get admitting privileges, and then the last one about the building itself...requiring hallways to be a certain size, requiring a generator,” Seago said.
But the other side says the bill was created to make more obstacles for women.
“It was never about women's health and safety, it was about creating barriers to access,” Howard said.
“The state interest behind these policies is very clear that it was maternal health,” Seago said.
Ultimately the elephant still remains in the room: Texas right to life wants to ban abortions.
Pro-choice supporters want women to make that choice. Regardless, that's an issue that will continue to be a hot topic. In the meantime, the Supreme Court believes with Whole Women's Health vs. Hellerstedt, the state, was overstepping its boundaries.