Ibis celebrates a victory for women’s health, women’s rights, and evidence-based policies

June 2016

June 27, 2016 – Ibis is thrilled that today the women of Texas and evidence prevailed; the U.S. Supreme Court has reaffirmed a woman’s constitutional right and ability to access abortion care. This decision paves the way for more Texas clinics to open and establishes a strong legal standard that will protect women’s access to abortion in states across the country. Today’s decision is a victory for women’s health, for women’s rights, and for the freedom for each of us to make decisions about our families and futures. Ibis’s work as part of the Texas Policy Evaluation Project (TxPEP) was instrumental in illustrating the harms that sham abortion restrictions in Texas have caused women in the state.

TxPEP research demonstrated the unacceptable and unnecessary burdens that clinic shutdown laws placed on Texas women after the majority of clinics were forced to close. TxPEP work showed that:

  • Women whose nearest clinic shuttered faced substantial burdens compared to those whose nearest clinic remained open, including significantly increased travel distances, high out-of-pocket costs, overnight stays, and decreased access to medication abortion.
  • After HB2, women experienced increased wait times accessing abortion care—in some cases up to three weeks— which can push more procedures into the second trimester.
  • The burdens resulting from clinic closures prevented some women from being able to access an abortion at all.

This body of research helped to establish the many ways in which medically unnecessary laws do nothing but make it harder for a woman to access care and exercise her rights.

“This decision is a victory for Texas women and for abortion providers in the state. We are thrilled that evidence has prevailed over politics to protect women’s autonomy and their right to the health care they need,” said Ibis President Kelly Blanchard. “The research results showed that despite what legislators claimed, these laws do nothing to protect women’s health. Texas is only one example of the terrible wave of sham abortion restrictions across the country that serve no purpose other than to make it difficult or impossible to obtain abortion care. The Supreme Court’s ruling will protect access to health care and improve the lives of women across the country, and we will build on this momentum by continuing to contribute rigorous evidence to ensure policymakers and the public know about the impact of these laws.”

The Supreme Court’s decision reaffirms the right of each woman to make decisions about her health, her family, and her future without politicians’ interference. Abortion care in particular is often shaped by politics rather than evidence, and is uniquely singled out as a space where autonomy, dignity, and evidence are subjugated to politicians’ political agendas regardless of the facts. Ibis celebrates the Supreme Court’s decision and this critical advancement toward compassion, respect, and the highest standards of evidence-based care in all personal health care decisions.

We are proud to share this victory for evidence with our TxPEP partners:
University of Texas at Austin 
University of California, San Francisco
The University of Alabama at Birmingham

If you’d like to speak with an Ibis researcher, please contact Britt Wahlin, Vice President of Development and Public Affairs, at bwahlin@ibisreproductivehealth.org or 434-328-2393.