What’s wrong with 10 safe clinics?

The first statement by the Court on the issue of abortion in 9 years.

On the last day of work for the US Supreme court before summer recess, the justices handed down three rulings.

The Center for Reproductive Rights had sued Texas on behalf of a coalition of abortion clinics, in challenge to a 2013 state law that required all clinics to certify as “ambulatory surgical centers,” and for those clinics to be regulated under the same standards as hospitals. Physicians performing abortions were also required to obtain admitting privileges to nearby hospitals.  

It doesn’t seem like too much to ask.  In the myriad public debates about affordable access to health care over the last 5 years in America, this seems like a no-brainer.  Of course we want women to be safe.  Right?  An abortion is a delicate, complex procedure and every American wants women to be fully protected — both physically and emotionally — during such a medical milestone.  Right?  And if anything should go wrong, we all want a woman to be speedily admitted to a local hospital with a minimum of difficulty.  Right?  And of course any doctor performing such procedures should be fully accredited and licensed, running a facility of the highest order with respect to clinic rooms, instruments, and medical staffing.  Right?  I mean, the passing of Roe v Wade over 40 years ago was ostensibly to prevent women from what were called “back alley abortions.”  Right??

Well apparently not, because today the Supreme Court struck down the Texas law regulating abortion clinics, delivering a 5-3 decision. Justice Stephen Breyer wrote the majority opinion for the court, with Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan joining him. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas dissented.

It’s hard to believe.

Not five years ago, Dr Kermit Gosnell and various co-defendant employees from his obscenely unmonitored and unregulated Philadelphia abortion clinic were charged with eight counts of murder.  Karnamaya Mongar died following an abortion procedure, and seven newborns were killed by having their spinal cords severed with scissors after being born alive during attempted abortions.  And that’s just what could be proved; God only knows how many others lost their lives or were maimed after an appointment at Dr Gosnell’s clinic.  

At that point, the public outcry was immense:  we need to do better.  In 21st century America, women shouldn’t bleed to death in filthy clinics because the supervising physicians can’t be bothered to know what they’re doing. And human infants really shouldn’t be butchered with a pair of scissors.


Not in our country’s post-reality culture.  

Abortion rights groups contended that the Texas law made it nearly impossible to operate a clinic in Texas.  That the regulations had already cut the number of abortion providers in half, to roughly 20. Fewer than 10 would have remained open if the law was allowed to take full effect.  

Well if you’re pro-abortion, what’s wrong with 10 safe clinics?  Wouldn’t you rather have 10 safe clinics with hospital-approved physicians— than 100 clinics with who-knows-what kind of procedures, safety, or medical staffing?  I thought we were all about care for women. You know, getting out of the back alley and all of that.  In Texas after today, vulnerable women — at the apex of emotional difficulty and physical challenge — can have no expectation of either high-quality medical personnel, or an abortion facility that even meets the standards of your local Med Express.  All thanks to the US Supreme Court.

And why?  Because nothing whatsoever can infringe on the most sacrosanct act of abortion.  Not regulated clinics, or hospital-approved physicians, or the health of women in America, or the much-heralded right of all people to affordable health care.  No, absolutely nothing can get in the way of any woman who decides to, or is compelled to terminate her child.  

In commenting on the decision, President Obama said, ”these Texas restrictions harm women's health and place an unconstitutional obstacle in the path of a woman's reproductive freedom.” 

Seriously.  We are post-reality.  What about the Kermit Gosnell Philadelphia abortuary affirmed women’s health or their reproductive freedom??  And what prevents a Texas clinic today from becoming just like it?

Obama continued, “But we remain strongly committed to the protection of women's health, including protecting a woman's access to safe, affordable health care and her right to determine her own future.”

Well you can’t have it both ways. 

Either you support governmental regulation of health care, Mr President, or you don’t.    Either you support the highest of health care standards for women, or you don’t.  

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, in a series of Tweets, hailed the decision as "a victory for women.”  

Some victory.  It’s just a different back alley for the women of America.

Kathy Emmons1 Comment