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Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt: The consequences of TRAP laws!



March 2nd is a critical day for abortion access. At 10am, the Supreme Court will hear Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt (formerly Cole), which challenges Texas House Bill 2 (HB2), a critical case about abortion access that will have tremendous impact on the future of reproductive health in the United States. The morning of the case, thousands of pro-choice advocates and allies will come together at the Rally to Protect Abortion Access to reaffirm the right to safe and legal abortion access for everyone. If you are in the DC area, we hope you will join us at the rally.

Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt is a critical case because Texas HB2 is one of the nation’s many dangerous TRAP laws. These “Targeted Regulations of Abortion Providers” impose unnecessary and burdensome regulations on abortion providers. Common TRAP laws include, but are not limited to: Medically unnecessary physician and hospital requirements, mandatory 24-to-72 hour waiting periods, facility requirements, restricted public funding under Medicaid, private insurance restrictions, state-mandated counseling, gestational limits, and parental involvement. These laws and policies regulate abortion providers and go beyond what is medically necessary to ensure patients’ safety and have devastating consequences on people seeking abortion care.

HB2 holds that all abortion clinics meet the same standards as Ambulatory Surgical Centers, even when only medication abortion is offered. Requiring clinics to meet hospital operating room standards has a particularly detrimental affect on smaller, independent clinics. HB2 also holds that all abortion providers must have admitting privileges to a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic, which disproportionately affects rural clinics. Should HB2 be upheld, only 10 abortion clinics will remain open in Texas for a population of 5.4 million women of reproductive health age.

If HB2 is upheld, the consequences on abortion providers and patients will go beyond Texas. HB2 sets a dangerous precedent, greatly strengthening the potential for similar laws in other states. As such, we must tell the media, politicians, and lawmakers that access to safe, legal, and affordable abortion care is our right as citizens of the United States.

If you can’t make it to the Rally, participate on social media using #StoptheSham.

Check out and share these great videos for more information on TRAP laws:

Lady Parts Justice& Buzz Off, Lucille: Do-it Dudes Do Abortion (featuring RHAP’s very own Stephanie!)

Lady Parts Justice: Clinic Hunters

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Abortion Laws

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