BALTIMORE – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) released the following statement, in conjunction with Planned Parenthood of Maryland, on the landmark Supreme Court ruling Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. The ruling strikes down Texas provisions that threatened to close all but nine health centers in the entire state that could provide abortion for the 5.4 million Texas women of reproductive age — down from approximately 40 health centers before passage of this dangerous law. As the Court recognized, “neither of these provisions offers medical benefits sufficient to justify the burdens upon access that each imposes.”
“Texas has been among those states aggressively trying to chip away at the constitutional rights of women by making it extremely difficult for them to exercise decisions over their own health care. The Supreme Court has rightly said the State of Texas went too far and needs to stop,” said U.S. Senator Ben Cardin. “We must allow women the unfettered ability to exercise their constitutional rights. Women in Maryland, Texas and nationwide should have the same access to health services without unreasonable restrictions, including family planning and abortion services, when they deem necessary. I support the Supreme Court’s decisions in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which codified this essential right to privacy and rejected undue burdens on a women’s right to choose.”
“Texas painted a grim picture of what access to abortion would look like if they restricted it. The right to abortion should not be determined by your zip code. This landmark ruling is an enormous win for women. In Maryland, we are thrilled the Court recognized that these laws do not enhance patient safety — rather, they punish women by blocking access to safe abortion. We stand with Texas women and fight for the right to safe, legal abortion for all Texans! Planned Parenthood of Maryland is pleased with the decision of the court and thrilled that Whole Woman’s Health is victorious. We won’t go back to a time where choosing to end a pregnancy put a woman’s life in serious danger,” said Karen J. Nelson, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Maryland.
Research and reporting has found that health center closures have already resulted in significant burdens for women, including delay, increased travel distances, high out-of-pocket costs, and overnight stays — if women can access abortions at all. A recent Bloomberg Politics national poll found that 67% of Americans surveyed agree with the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, saying that the Supreme Court was right to rule that women have a constitutional right to abortion.