Read Justice Stephen Breyer Majority Opinion In The Texas Abortion Ruling That's Changed Everything
After months of anticipation, excitement, and worry, it all came to a head on Monday — the Supreme Court finally handed down its biggest ruling on abortion in two decades, and it was a 5-3 decision in favor of Whole Women's Health. In other words, abortion rights advocates have secured an unlikely and dramatic victory, and one that should have a positive impact on countless women (especially low-income women) across the state of Texas. And as usual, the justices had some thoughts, with Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and John Roberts dissenting, while the others ruled in favor. So, why not read Justice Stephen Breyer's majority opinion on the Supreme Court abortion ruling? (You can find the majority opinion as part of the full text here.)
The case, Whole Women's Health v. Hellerstedt, sought to decide whether the state of Texas could continue enforcing its recent raft of new regulations on abortion providers (TRAP laws, as they're sometimes called). But when it comes to high-profile, contentious and deeply-held issues like reproductive rights, the possibilities don't stop strictly at the margins of the case — there's a potential for any new ruling relating to abortion to set new precedent on women's constitutional rights.
That's part of why some pro-choice advocates are wary of fighting abortion-related cases all the way to the Supreme Court. While such cases do open up the chance to expand (or in the case of Whole Women's Health, restore) women's reproductive rights, they open up a lot of risk, too.
You can be sure that this won't be the last time American women's reproductive rights are put on the line. Sadly, if anything's been clear from observing GOP-led state legislatures around the country in recent years, the all-out war on abortion access never seems to let down, not even a little. All credit to the excellent SCOTUSblog for releasing the majority opinion so promptly — they're just about as vital a resource for being an informed court-watcher as any you'll ever find.