clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Supreme Court abortion decision: Ruth Bader Ginsburg's must-read quote

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has always been one of the staunchest supporters of abortion rights on the Supreme Court. So it's not surprising that she chose to author her own, strongly worded concurrence to the Monday decision striking down Texas’s restrictive abortion law.

"It is beyond rational belief that H. B. 2 could genuinely protect the health of women," Ginsburg wrote in her concurrence.

Ginsburg’s concurrence is short — it spans just two pages — but forceful, focused mostly on pushing back against arguments from the law’s supporters that these new restrictions would make abortion safer in Texas.

Abortion is generally safe, Ginsburg writes, adding, "Many medical procedures, including childbirth, are far more dangerous to patients, yet are not subject to ambulatory surgical-center or hospital admitting-privileges requirements."

Ginsburg also wrote on the possibility that a law like HB 2 — which led to the closures of more than a dozen Texas abortion clinics — could force women to terminate pregnancies in less safe situation.

"When a State severely limits access to safe and legal procedures, women in desperate circumstances may resort to unlicensed rogue practitioners, faute de mieux [for want of a better alternative], at great risk to their health and safety," she wrote.

You can read Ginsburg’s full concurrence here, beginning on page 46.

Americans don't know much about abortion