After weeks of pressure from civil rights attorneys, the Texas Department of State Health Services has released abortion data for 2014 – the first year the state's controversial law, House Bill 2, was in effect.
Texas politicians were quick to send out tweets and press releases reacting to the Supreme Court's decision Monday, ruling 5-3 that a 2013 Texas law restricting abortion procedures placed an “undue burden” on people who seek care. The social media flurry broke down predictably along party lines.
House Bill 2 required doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. Each clinic also had to meet the standards of hospital surgical facilities. The law also banned abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and the abortion pill misoprostol.
The law garnered national attention during former Sen. Wendy Davis’s 11-hour filibuster in June 2013. The ensuing court case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, asked whether these new admitting privileges and ambulatory surgical center requirements on abortion providers within the state posed an “undue burden” on women.
On its face, the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on Texas' far-reaching abortion law seems clear: House Bill 2 is unconstitutional. But the implications might not be as straightforward. Here are five things you need to know to understand the landmark ruling.