Fedor Joins US Supreme Court Fight For Women's Access To Healthcare
State lawmaker files amicus brief against extreme Texas law
January 06, 2016
 
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State Rep. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) on Tuesday filed an amicus brief* urging the U.S. Supreme Court to reject restrictions on access to comprehensive women’s health care services in Whole Women’s Health v. Cole. Fedor was joined by female lawmakers from across the country, including Wendy Davis, Lucy Flores and Judy Nicastro. 


“Women in America have a fundamental and constitutional right to make their own healthcare decisions,” said Fedor, who last year garnered national attention after challenging her male colleagues to “walk in her shoes” during the floor debate on a proposed 6-week abortion ban. “Political attacks against women’s access to healthcare aren’t just taking place in Texas – extreme laws such as this are being passed in Ohio and across the nation. That is why the outcome of this case is so important, and that is why I am proud to join in the fight to overturn this unconstitutional affront to women everywhere.”


Whole Women’s Health v. Cole centers on a 2013 Texas law requiring clinics that offer abortions to have hospital-grade facilities and requires physicians to obtain admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. More than 40 clinics operated in Texas before the law – afterward, nearly half closed. Critics warn that, should the law stand, more than 75 percent of facilities that perform abortions in the nation’s second most populous state will be forced to close.


Taking a page from what increasingly appears to be a national political playbook, Ohio also faces multiple anti-care proposals, including bans on abortion after 6 weeks, 20 weeks and on pregnancies with a fetal Down syndrome diagnosis. The Ohio House and Senate also passed separate measures to defund Planned Parenthood in 2015, and new Republican restrictions would force women to choose between burying or cremating a fetus prior to an abortion. Republicans in the Ohio House have introduced at least 10 bills this general assembly that would restrict a woman’s constitutionally guaranteed right to make her own healthcare decisions.


Under Gov. John Kasich’s administration, nearly half of the state’s abortion clinics have closed since 2013, from 14 down to 9. Since taking over in 2011, the Kasich Administration has used state budgets as the primary vehicles for last-minute abortion restrictions, with Kasich’s first budget including mandatory waiting periods and private transfer agreement requirements, which forced some healthcare providers to close. The latest state budget’s restrictions threaten to shutter another two clinics in southwest Ohio, potentially making Cincinnati the largest metro area in the country without access to safe, legal abortions. 


*Editor’s note: a copy of the brief is attached.

 

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