SCOTUS Made Two More Really Important Abortion Decisions Upholding Women’s Rights

The world currently feels like a Black Mirror episode, because all these shitty things keep happening — like Brexit and Donald Trump and Democrats sitting on the floor for gun control — but the Supreme Court just struck down two more abortion cases by refusing to hear their appeals, making even more pro-women’s right to healthcare waves. After the Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt ruling on Monday, these other two cases were bound to go down, because there’s no longer a good legal argument to put unnecessary restrictions on women seeking reproductive healthcare. I don’t like to jinx things or get ahead of myself, but I’m internally doing the Carlton dance right now.

The first case, Jackson Women’s Health Organization v. Currier, came out of Mississippi and would have closed the lone abortion clinic in the state. It’s obviously no good that there’s only one, but at least SCOTUS told the state, which argued that having only one clinic didn’t place any undue burden on women, that it’s wrong.

The second case, Planned Parenthood Wisconsin v. Schimel, out of Wisconsin was also struck down. It was super similar to the Texas case, in that it required doctors to have staff privileges at a hospital in order to perform abortions in a clinic and would have shut down one of the only three health centers in the state.

It feels odd to read the words “SCOTUS”, “Mississippi,” and “abortion” and be gleeful about them, but these rulings mean big things. By refusing to hear the states’ appeals, the Court left the lower courts’ rulings in place, which struck down the two anti-abortion laws. The decisions in Texas, Mississippi, and Wisconsin this week are some of the biggest rulings by the Supreme Court since Roe v. Wade in 1973 and Planned Parenthood v. Casey in 1992. It’s a big freaking deal for the Court to tell conservative states that their creative little measures to block and defund women’s health centers are all for naught.

Of course, the situation isn’t perfect — there are just three women’s health canters in Wisconsin and only one in Mississippi. The doctors, in those states and in Texas, won’t have to get special admitting privileges at a local hospital or any of that nonsense, but it’s still pretty fucking inconvenient and difficult to get an abortion in those states.

Think about Texas, which we all celebrated yesterday. There are still only 18 women’s health centers, and the ones that were closed because of these ridiculous laws won’t be opening anytime soon. The clinics are sparse. And there are still other little regulations and restrictions, like in most states. Waiting periods. Counseling. More waiting. Permission for underage girls. Then, you cross your fingers and hope that after all that, you’re not more than 20 weeks pregnant, because then you’ve run out of time and are past the legal limit.

It’s still not cool. But having not just one, but three victories this week saying women have a right to access healthcare because the Constitution says so? That’s really good news. But until it’s legal, accessible, on-demand, and apology free everywhere, I’m just going to sit and do the Carlton on the inside.