Catholic Pro-Life Committee
  Respect Life Ministry of the Diocese of Dallas

  Media Contact: 
  Becky Visosky, Director of Communications
U.S. Supreme Court reverses Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling and finds challenged provisions of Texas law HB 2 unconstitutional
DALLAS, June 27, 2016 -- In the matter of Whole Women's Health v. Hellerstedt, the United States Supreme Court has substantially reversed the ruling of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, finding both the admitting privileges and the surgical center requirements of Texas law HB 2 unconstitutional.
Kris Kramer, Executive Director of the Catholic Pro-Life Committee, commented on today's ruling:    "We are gravely disappointed that the U.S. Supreme Court decided to strike down common-sense safety standards protecting Texas women. The double standard of allowing the abortion industry to skirt critical safety requirements that would be expected of any legitimate medical facility is a gross injustice." 

Kramer went on to state that "In the wake of this disappointing decision, we will continue undeterred in our efforts to support every North Texas woman experiencing an unexpected pregnancy by offering real options for her health, her family and her future."
By way of background:
Texas abortion providers brought a federal lawsuit challenging elements of Texas law HB 2, specifically the requirements that all Texas abortion facilities meet the standards set for ambulatory surgical centers (ASC) and that abortionists maintain local admitting privileges as applied to McAllen and El Paso abortion facilities. 
The district judge in Austin presiding over the lawsuit ruled to bar the full enforcement of HB 2, finding the challenged elements unconstitutional. The State of Texas appealed that ruling, and on June 9, 2015, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously to reverse the lower court and uphold virtually all of HB 2.  (
Opinion available here )

The abortion providers subsequently appealed the Fifth Circuit ruling to the United States Supreme Court. On June 29, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court granted an emergency motion to stay the June 9th ruling of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and on March 2, 2016, the high court heard oral arguments in the matter.   

On June 27, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a 5-3 opinion delivered by Justice Breyer substantially reversing the Fifth Circuit's ruling and finding both the admitting privileges and the surgical center requirements of Texas law HB 2 "constitute an undue burden on abortion access, and thus violate the Constitution." Justices Thomas and Alito filed dissenting opinions (Roberts, C. J., and Thomas, J., joined in the dissent by Alito, J.). In his dissent, Justice Thomas states: The Supreme 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." (Opinion available here)
About the Catholic Pro-Life Committee
The Catholic Pro-Life Committee is a tax-exempt non-profit organization that serves the public through education on life issues, women's health issues, supportive services for pregnant women and their unborn children, and abortion aftercare.  Its services are available to anyone regardless of religious viewpoint or political affiliation.


Facts about abortion:   Over 8,000 abortions are performed in Dallas County  every year.  Since the 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, more than 58,000,000 abortions have been performed in America.