The U.S. Supreme Court has set a date to consider the constitutionality of a Texas abortion law, which, if upheld, would set a precedent that could lead to increased restrictions on abortion clinics across the nation. The law, passed in 2013, in part requires all abortionists in Texas to have admitting privileges at a local hospital, and that requires abortion facilities to meet the same health and safety standards as ambulatory surgical centers. At issue is whether the restrictions pose an undue burden on a woman’s access to abortion. Attorneys will present their arguments regarding the case, Whole Women’s Health v. Cole, on March 2. This is the first time the high court has ruled on abortion since 2007.
NC Family is also watching the Supreme Court docket to see when another important case will come before the high court this session, this one regarding religious liberty. The Court has agreed to hear arguments in a cluster of cases that challenge the Obama Administration’s controversial contraceptive healthcare mandate. Zubik v Burwell is a consolidation of seven cases from religious groups, including Priests for Life, Southern Nazarene University, Geneva College, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington, East Texas Baptist University, and Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged. These groups argue that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is forcing employers to pay for health plans that cover contraceptives and abortifacients and that this violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. They argue that “accommodations” offered by HHS do not change this fact.