The 4 Best Lines From the Supreme Court Decision That Saved Abortion Rights in Texas

Stephen Breyer, top right, authored the majority opinion in the case. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, top left, wrote a concurring opinion.sippl/AP

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The Supreme Court struck down key portions of a Texas law severely limiting access to abortion on Monday. The law, known as HB2, threatened to shutter dozens of clinics in the state. Here are the best lines from Justice Stephen Breyer’s majority opinion and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s concurring opinion.

Breyer, in his polite and dry style, still managed to take some swipes at the state of Texas and its claim that the law would protect women’s health:

We have found nothing in Texas’ record evidence that shows that, compared to prior law…the new law advanced Texas’ legitimate interest in protecting women’s health.

More fundamentally, in the face of no threat to women’s health, Texas seeks to force women to travel long distances to get abortions in crammed-to-capacity superfacilities. Patients seeking these services are less likely to get the kind of individualized attention, serious conversation, and emotional support that doctors at less taxed facilities may have offered.

Ginsburg, making the same point, did not mince words:

It is beyond rational belief that H. B. 2 could genuinely protect the health of women, and certain that the law “would simply make it more difficult for them to obtain abortions.”

When a State severely limits access to safe and legal procedures, women in desperate circumstances may resort to unlicensed rogue practitioners, faute de mieux, at great risk to their health and safety.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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