Just minutes after the Supreme Court publicly decided to strike down a Texas law that posed one of the staunchest obstacles to women's right to safe and legal abortion, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee tweeted her emphatic support. Hillary Clinton responded to the SCOTUS abortion ruling by praising it as "a victory for women in Texas and across America," but emphasized that protecting women's heath is still a task the next president (cough, cough) will have to confront.
On Monday, the court voted 5-3 that Texas' H.B. 2, which required abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a hospital within a 30-mile radius of their clinics, and for those clinics to adhere to strict regulations that would essentially make them surgical centers, was unconstitutional.
While supporters of the 2013 measure claimed that it was essential to protect women's health, pro-choicers — and healthcare providers — maintained that the unnecessary and expensive mandates aimed only to shut down clinics and made abortions less accessible. Since the law passed, only 19 of the state's more than 40 clinics remained open, and, according to The Guardian, only nine of those would have survived had SCOTUS voted the other way.
Clinton's reaction to the much-anticipated decision reflects the belief that legalized abortion only benefits women if they can access it in practice:
The tweets are even signed "-H," indicating that Clinton wrote them herself. And she has good reason to personally weigh in on what many consider the most important Supreme Court ruling on abortion since 1992. That's when when Planned Parenthood v. Casey determined that state abortion laws could not place an "undue burden" on a woman's right to access an abortion.
The majority of the justices agreed that the provisions in Texas demonstrated a violation of this standard. In his majority opinion, Justice Stephen G. Breyer wrote:
There was no significant health-related problem that the new law helped to cure. We agree with the District Court that the surgical-center requirement, like the admitting-privileges requirement, provides few, if any, health benefits for women, poses a substantial obstacle to women seeking abortions, and constitutes an 'undue burden' on their constitutional right to do so.
He also wrote that it posed an unnecessary obstacle, according to The New York Times:
We conclude that neither of these provisions offers medical benefits sufficient to justify the burdens upon access that each imposes. Each places a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking a previability abortion, each constitutes an undue burden on abortion access, and each violates the Federal Constitution.
In her remarks after the ruling, Clinton also criticized opponent Donald Trump's previous remarks that women who have abortions should be punished, according to USA Today. As of press time, Trump has not commented on the court's ruling.
"Meanwhile, Donald Trump has said women should be punished for having abortions," she said. "He also pledged to defund Planned Parenthood and appoint Supreme Court justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade."
Some Republicans, though, are expressing opposing opinions. Texas Sen. John Cornyn said the ruling "sets a dangerous precedent," maintaining that that restrictions and requirements of H.B. 2 were in the "best interests of our citizens," USA Today reported.
As Clinton continues on her quest for the presidency, she'll keep letting the American people know what she believes is in their best interests. On the issue of women's access to legal and safe medical abortion, she's been a vocal ally throughout this election season. She's billing it as a win, one she hopes to expand on and protect if she makes it into the White House.