DNC Statement on the Supreme Court’s Ruling on Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt

WASHINGTON –  DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, DNC Women’s Caucus Chair Lottie Shackelford, and Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa issued the following joint statement on today’s Supreme Court Ruling in the Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellersted case:

“The Supreme Court made the right decision today by ruling in favor of women’s health and women’s rights. In the forty years since Roe v. Wade, women have had the constitutionally protected right to make their own health care decisions and access to a safe and legal abortion.

“Since then, Republicans have pursued every opportunity in states across the country to undermine those rights and invade women’s privacy. Like so many other similar anti-abortion measures snaking their way through state legislatures, the Texas law struck down today purports to make women’s reproductive health care safer. In reality, the medically unnecessary, intrusive and dubious regulations it contains are so onerous, expensive or impossible to implement that they force health care clinics to close their doors and turn women away. Texas is home to 5.4 million women of reproductive age. In its first year alone, HB2 forced half of the Texas clinics that provided abortion services to close, leaving some women to travel hundreds of miles for the care they need.

“By striking down HB2, the Court has given Texas women and women everywhere a victory in the ongoing fight to protect abortion rights. But we cannot take anything for granted and we must remain vigilant – especially as we head toward Election Day in November. Today’s victory, however, doesn’t change the fact that the American people deserve a fully functioning Supreme Court. Last week the court deadlocked on issues in which the vacant seat on the Court would have made it possible for the independent judicial branch to actually rule on the merits of the case before it. And that took place almost exactly 100 days after President Obama nominated Chief Judge Merrick Garland, who is widely recognized as the most qualified jurist to have ever been nominated to the Supreme Court, with Senate Republicans continuing to block his confirmation and those of dozens of other judges to federal benches.

“The ruling also highlights the contrast before voters in this November’s elections. Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for president­­, is opposed to abortion rights and even said women who get an abortion should be punished. Democrats will continue to stand up for a women’s right to choose. We are poised to nominate a presidential candidate in July who, unlike Trump, will have the temperament and judgment required to lead from the Oval Office, including to carry out the sacred duty to nominate federal judges. We must elect a Democrat as our next president.”