This week, the Supreme Court of the United States did right by feminists by ruling the proposed abortion ban in Texas to be unconstitutional AND banning domestic abusers from owning guns.
Holy shit, everybody! This is HUGE! This isn’t just public-pat-on-the-back-for-a-publicity-stunt huge, this is real progress!
This morning’s SCOTUS decision ruled that the crime of reckless domestic violence and abuse is a misdemeanor that justifies firearms possession restriction. While there are still a frightening number of loopholes that allow some pretty scary people to own guns, this loophole that no longer exists. Why is this a feminist issue? It means safer homes for at-risk populations: women, children and LBTQIA — particularly BIPOC folks in these groups.
(Note: Omar Mateen, the Pulse Nightclub shooter, had a history of domestic violence.)
As if that were not huge enough on its own, the SCOTUS also laid down the law (get it?) on the Texas abortion ban. They ruled that a 2013 Texas law designed to restrict and reduce women’s access to abortion services is unconstitutional. It was a strong majority, too, at a ruling of 5-3. It’s been over a decade since the SCOTUS ruled on any abortion-related issues, but they came in when it really counts. Many are saying it is the most important abortion case in more than 25 years!
Why is a ruling in Texas so important? Well, Texas is nearly 9 percent of the US population, with about 27.5 million residents. The population of Texas has also jumped almost 10 percent in the last five years, which is tremendous. This is a growing state, economy and cultural space. Pregnant people deserve the right to make decisions for their own bodies.
The issue at hand was whether or not the HB-2 bill placed an “undue burden” on folks seeking an abortion. The bill included many severe rules, down to width of hallways of the abortion clinics. Because a lot of these buildings did not meet these ridiculous laws, they were forced to close. To top things off, the law reduced the total number of abortion clinics in the State of Texas to less than 20. Texas is the second largest state in the U.S., approximately the size of France, forcing some residents to travel great distances to get to their nearest clinic.
Let’s not forget Wendy Davis’s 11-hour fillibuster in an attempt to block the bill from passing in Texas. She may not have won then, but she certainly helped pave the way for it. Thank you for never yielding, Wendy, and thank you SCOTUS for finally listening and protecting abortion rights and the safety of those surviving domestic violence.
JUST IN: Pres. Obama is "pleased" the Supreme Court struck down Texas restrictions on abortion clinics. pic.twitter.com/niqZ6ygjG4
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) June 27, 2016