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Saturday, June 15
The Indiana Daily Student

opinion editorial

EDITORIAL: No undue burden on women

In the Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt case, the constitutionality of Texas’s House Bill 2 will be 
determined.

This bill has numerous stipulations for abortions, including a ban on abortions past the 20th week of pregnancy, reporting requirements and the two most contentious portions: the ambulatory surgical center requirements and restrictions on abortion by pill.

We, the Editorial Board, believe this law creates an undue burden on Texas women and will increase the number of late-term abortions.

HB 2’s co-sponsor, Dan Flynn, said the purpose of the bill is to protect women’s health and make abortion a safe procedure for women, both noble goals.

However, the American Medical Association filed an amicus brief to the Supreme Court stating this bill “imposes government regulation on abortion care that is not based in scientific facts or the best available medical knowledge” and jeopardizes women’s health.

If the purpose of a law is to improve women’s health, then it should be following the AMA’s and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ recommendations for abortion to ensure these women get the best care possible.

Abortion with a small pill is commonly used in first trimester pregnancies. It is increasingly becoming the most common method of abortion throughout the country except in Texas.

Justice Anthony Kennedy pointed out medical abortions are down in Texas, especially compared to the rest of the United States. This statistic could point to the increase in later-term 
abortions.

It also highlights a divide that occurred in Texas after the passage of HB 2 in which there was a 5 percent decrease in surgical abortions and a 22 percent decrease in medical ones, an overall decrease in abortions and an increase in second-trimester abortions.

The other major point of contention is the requirement that abortion clinics must abide by ambulatory surgical center specifications.

The purpose of this stipulation was to provide women with the best health care possible, but it is applied so broadly it appears to be used to close clinics down instead.

One rule is hallways must be 8 feet wide in order to allow two surgical teams to pass through side-by-side. While this condition is important in a hospital setting, it’s not a requirement in an abortion clinic, as the 
AMA said.

This provision means 1.65 million women live more than 150 miles away from an abortion clinic. This number has increased since 2012, when the law was 
implemented.

Abortion is a contentious topic and deserves to be debated in years to come, but it is legal in the U.S. and so are restrictions as long as they don’t provide an undue burden on women.

However, this law promotes procedures that encourage later-term abortions, goes against recommendations from obstetricians and gynecologists and applies strict, unnecessary requirements on clinics that force them to shut down. Because of this, HB 2 creates an undue burden on women and should not remain law.

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