A Texas-sized injustice

From an editorial Friday in the Washington Post:

If a federal appeals court ruling issued Tuesday stands, states will be able to all but deny access to abortion on a phony pretext of concern for women’s health. The impact on poor women will be particularly severe. The Supreme Court cannot allow this to be the last word on a constitutional guarantee.

Texas enacted some of the toughest abortion restrictions in the country in a 2013 law, limiting where procedures can take place and who can perform them. Only physicians with admitting privileges at local hospitals may accept abortion patients, and the facilities they use must meet the same requirements as ambulatory surgical centers.

The state requirements supposedly intend to make abortions safer, even though there are no statistics to justify the onerous rules and medical organizations say there is no rational basis for them.

That did not stop the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit from upholding the law.

There were 41 abortion clinics in Texas in 2012. The regulations would force all but eight to close. If that happens, nearly a million women would live farther than 150 miles from the nearest clinic.

Reasonable safety standards on medical procedures are warranted. Giving legal legitimacy to Texas’s assault on abortion rights is not.