Politics

Lt. Gov. Patrick Condemns SCOTUS Ruling On Texas’ Abortion Law

Dan Patrick, who co-wrote the law while serving in the Texas Senate, called the 5-3 verdict a devastating blow for women’s safety and health.

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Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick
Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick lashed into the Supreme Court for its 5-3 decision to overturn the state's controversial abortion law. Speaking at a press conference in Houston's Greenway Plaza, Patrick accused the Supreme Court of setting itself up as a national medical board. He called the decision a devastating blow for women's safety and health.

"I'm clearly pro-life," Patrick said, "but if someone's going to have an abortion, I want them to have it in the safest possible environment. You've heard Planned Parenthood and others who are for abortion say, ‘You know, if we keep passing laws, you're going to have women in back alleys getting abortions.' Well this is what the Supreme Court approved today."

Patrick himself co-authored the law, while he was serving in the Texas Senate. The law required that abortion providers meet the same design standards as other surgical facilities, and that doctors working at abortion clinics have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. Defenders of the law held that these requirements were necessary for the health and safety of the patients. The Supreme Court disagreed, ruling the law put an undue burden on women's constitutional right to abortion.

Patrick said the ruling underscores the importance of the Supreme Court as an issue in the presidential election this fall.

"Because if Hillary Clinton is the next president and has a chance to appoint three or four Supreme Court justices over the next several years," he said, "these decisions won't be narrow decisions. They will be 9-to-nothing decisions."

The lieutenant governor said the Texas Legislature will work on developing a fresh law to restrict abortions. The next legislative session begins in January.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media’s business reporter, covering the oil...

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