The U.S. Supreme Court has overturned one of the nation’s most restrictive abortion laws in a landmark day for women’s rights in America.
The law, which was passed in Texas in 2013, meant abortion clinics must meet the same building standards as ambulatory surgical centres, reports NBC, reducing the number of clinics in Texas to drop from 42 to just 19.
If the law had been upheld, it was feared more closures would ensue, with only ten clinics likely to remain operational.
The law also required doctors performing abortions to have the ability to admit patients to nearby hospitals despite most patients only requiring two pills, but it was defeated by a 5-3 vote.
President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Cecile Richards, said in a statement:
We are thrilled that these dangerous provisions have been struck down.
This is a win for women. Every person must have the right to make their own personal decisions about abortion, and we will fight like hell to ensure they do.
Samuel A. Alito Jr, one of the dissenting Justices, argued:
The Court favors petitioners with a victory that they did not have the audacity to seek.
If anything, when a case involves a controversial issue, we should be especially careful to be scrupulously neutral in applying such rules.
The Court has not done so here. On the contrary, determined to strike down two provisions of a new Texas abortion statute in all of their applications, the Court simply disregards basic rules that apply in all other cases.
The Center for Reproductive Rights had previously labelled the law ‘an absolute sham’, as it sought to restrict women’s right to choice by claiming measures were taken for their protection, and that of their fetus.
The move has been heralded by Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
This fight isn't over: The next president has to protect women's health. Women won't be "punished" for exercising their basic rights. -H
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) June 27, 2016
Hopefully, nations such as Northern Ireland will take note, and start to reform their own legislation on abortion.