After the Supreme Court’s historic ruling Monday on the Texas abortion access laws, Florida needs to re-evaluate its upcoming care restrictions or else it may face similar judgment.
Texas legislatures created the most restricting abortion laws in the nation, which led to the closure of clinics across the state. Legislatures claimed they were simply trying to protect women seeking abortions, but in reality they were causing far more harm than good.
Monday’s 5-3 vote found the state in violation of the federal Constitution and claimed the law placed an “undue burden” on the women seeking abortions and medical care in the state.
“Neither of these provisions offers medical benefits sufficient to justify the burdens upon access that each imposes,” Justice Stephen Breyer wrote. “Each places a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking a previability abortion, each constitutes an undue burden on abortion access, and each violates the federal Constitution.”
Several other states including Wisconsin and Florida have been attempting to restrict women’s right to choose by implementing several phony bills they claimed were beneficial to women’s health. It didn’t take long for citizens to realize they had once again been lied to by their government.
Florida has several new abortion laws going into effect Friday. They have faced heavy criticism from lawmakers as well as outraged citizens who claim they are simply a facade used to impede women’s health.
One of the oh-so-helpful provisions under these new laws requires abortion doctors to have either a transfer agreement or admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. This will inhibit many clinics that are not affiliated with or located in the immediate vicinity of a hospital from performing abortions.
While on paper the logic of having a hospital ready to admit a patient if things go awry is sound, it is unnecessary in practice. Problems are rare, with approximately 400 women dying due to complications in legal abortions since 1973, averaging around 9 every year according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Just this year alone, approximately 20 million abortions have legally been performed, according to the Guttmacher Institute. Legally, a hospital has to admit any patient in need of serious treatment, so the transfer agreement is redundant.
Gov. Rick Scott said he would be reviewing the Supreme Court’s decision in a news conference Monday morning. However, it would be naive to believe Scott has plans to rescind any of the proposed laws.
Florida lawmakers insist their anti-abortion laws are much different than those struck down in Texas. But that claim simply doesn’t hold water.
“It’s definitely different language,” said Laura Goodhue, executive director of the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates. “But the intent is the same.”
Scott has already signed bills this year restricting funding for clinics that provide abortions, and the collateral damage has been seen across the state.
“(Florida) already had a law banning funding for the actual abortion, this new law would basically eliminate funding for procedures like cancer screenings, vasectomies or HIV tests,” according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Texas lawmakers chose to limit the health care available for its constituents. They were found guilty of violating the constitution. Florida has new laws going into effect this week that have the ability to restrict health care to women within the state.
We can only hope if citizens’ rights are infringed upon due to these new “helpful” laws, the Supreme Court will once again intervene and ensure the transgressions cease.
Breanne Williams is a junior majoring in mass communications.