The generations-old debate on abortion is heating up again over a Supreme Court ruling expected to come on Monday, the last day of the court’s term. A decision looms over a challenge by abortion providers to a 2013 Texas law that might be putting an undue burden on women in the state seeking their right to have an abortion.
The most recent ruling of its kind in nearly a decade, the issue, as Reuters reports, is no less divisive among the American people. A Reuters/Ipso poll of 6,769 people conducted throughout the month of June found that 47 percent of respondents generally felt that access to abortions should be legal in the United States, while 43 percent expressed the opposing view that abortion should be illegal.
The previous Supreme Court ruling on abortion came in 2007, when justices upheld a standing federal statute which banned late-term procedures. The decision was 5-4.
Abortion in the United States has been on the decline for decades. Peaking at 29 abortions per 1,000 women in 1981, the Guttmacher Institute, which tracks abortion statistics, argues that their data from 2011 advocates for abortion rights, family planning, and contraceptive use. The Huffington Post has more from policy analyst Elizabeth Nash of the Guttmacher Institute.
“We know that the recent abortion declines were primarily due to declines in unintended pregnancies. Improved contraceptive use is likely the key driver of the declines in both unintended pregnancy and abortion.”
The Huffington Post goes on to note that Texas is one of several more conservative states in which access to abortion has been challenged in spite of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. In this particular instance, the Texas legislature is currently requiring that doctors who opt to perform abortions have “admitting privileges” at hospitals within 30 miles of an family planning clinic which provides abortions as well as the requirement of said clinics to have hospital-grade equipment which can be very costly.
Further details of Monday’s Supreme Court ruling on abortion, by ABC News, include the challenge to state law, which has cut the number of abortion providers in Texas from 20 to less than half since 2013.
Other decisions expected on Monday include a case against Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, which could make it harder to prosecute public officials, and a gun law in Maine that may affect gun sales to persons convicted of domestic violence. The justices will break for the summer thereafter.
Another element of the Supreme Court’s decision on Monday has come up among the chatter of the Brexit referendum in the U.K. earlier in the week. As secession is a topic that has bristled through far-right Texas movements, conservative blogger Matt Walsh feels that any ruling on abortion that doesn’t favor the current legislation might be a reason for the state to punch its “Texit” ticket.
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) June 24, 2016
Talk of a Texit has also been trending on Twitter since the vote in the U.K. to leave the European Union, although no posts seem to allude to the Supreme Court ruling on abortion as a reason to support the secessionist rhetoric.
— Liberty Hangout (@LibertyHangout) June 24, 2016
— Jared (@Flintlox) June 25, 2016
— James W Rollins (@jwr4570) June 17, 2016
— Jadorei Jade (@JadoreiJade) June 17, 2016
Adding to the chatter, in spite of whatever the actual reasons for a Texit might be, from gun rights to Supreme Court rulings abortion to obscure comments about freedom, Fox News covered the remarks of Republican presumptive nominee for president Donald Trump, who offered his own thoughts on the Texit, which made an explicit reference to a very common subject for Trump throughout his campaign, himself.
“Texas will never do that, because Texas loves me.”
[Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]