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Resource: Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt

By: Oyez

June 27, 2016

https://www.oyez.org

In 2013, the Texas Legislature passed House Bill 2 (H.B. 2), which contained several provisions related to abortions. One such provision required that any physician performing an abortion have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of where the abortion was performed, and another provision required that all abortion clinics comply with standards for ambulatory surgical centers. The petitioners are a group of abortion providers who sued the State of Texas seeking to invalidate those provisions in H.B. 2 as they relate to facilities in McAllen and El Paso. The petitioners argued that H.B. 2 denied equal protection, unlawfully delegated lawmaking authority, and constituted arbitrary and unreasonable state action. The district court dismissed the equal protection, unlawful delegation, and arbitrary and unreasonable state action claims and granted declaratory and injunctive relief against the enforcement of the two contested provisions of H.B. 2. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court’s dismissal of the equal protection, unlawful delegation, and arbitrary and unreasonable state action claims and partially reversed the injunctions because the plaintiffs failed to show that they placed a substantial burden in the path of a woman seeking an abortion.

https://www.oyez.org/cases/2015/15-274