6 Times Female Justices Dropped The Mic In The Abortion Case Hearing
On Wednesday morning, the Supreme Court heard arguments for the most important abortion case in decades, Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt.
The case concerns a Texas law, HB 2, which says abortion clinics need to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles and meet the requirements of ambulatory surgical centers. Both of these requirements are medically unnecessary and thus far have only served to shut clinics down.
We'll have to wait until June to see what the Supreme Court decides, but for now, we have the transcript from the arguments.
It's unclear from the transcript which side Justice Anthony Kennedy will fall on -- and he will be the deciding vote -- but it is perfectly clear the female Supreme Court justices are total baddies who are standing up for women's health and reproductive rights.
Here are some of their best moments.
When Ruth Bader Ginsburg wouldn't let bullsh*t fly.
RBG asked Texas Solicitor General Scott Keller, who was arguing for the law to stand, how many women are now more than 100 miles from the nearest clinic with all the clinic shutdowns.
Keller answered that with the new law, 25 percent are more than 100 miles from the nearest clinic in Texas, but some women are close to a clinic in New Mexico.
When Sonia Sotomayor went in on the requirement to take abortion pills in an ambulatory surgical center.
Under Texas law, women have to go to an ambulatory surgical center to take a pill to induce an abortion. That's right, they can't take a pill anywhere other than an ambulatory surgical center. When this was pointed out, Sotomayor said,
Sotomayor then asked,
Stephanie Toti, arguing for Whole Woman's Health, said,
When RBG picked up on this idea in her questioning of Keller.
She asked what the medical benefit was of having the pills taken in a facility, and Keller responded saying should complications arise, women can get help through hospital admitting privileges within 30 miles.
This didn't convince Ginsburg. She said,
When Sotomayor called out bad statistics.
Keller used the argument Planned Parenthood had 210 women hospitalized from complications. This sounds like a big number, until Sotomayor asked,
Keller had to respond it's less than 1 percent. Sotomayor, noting she wasn't trying to downplay an individual's medical problem, said, "There are people who die from complications from aspirin." She continued,
When the justices kept hitting on the fact abortion is a simple, safe procedure -- especially compared to other procedures.
Abortion has an extremely low rate of mortality -- lower than colonoscopies and much lower than childbirth. Elena Kagan said,
Ginsburg started saying childbirth has higher complications, but then Keller cut her off to try and argue otherwise. To which Ginsburg said,
The transcript indicates this made people laugh.
When Sotomayor refused to allow that these laws are beneficial.
When Keller tried to argue putting these laws in force, on top of existing regulations, was medically valid, Sotomayor said,
This case concerns the meaning of placing an "undue burden" on a woman to get an abortion. An undue burden should be recognized as something where the benefits do not outweigh the burden. Sotomayor told Keller,
The Supreme Court's decision will be announced in June.