Committee Reports

Amicus Brief: Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole (U.S. Supreme Court)


The City Bar, through its Sex & Law, Domestic Violence, Civil Rights, LGBT Rights and Women in the Legal Profession Committees, filed an amicus brief in support of petitioners in Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole, an abortion case currently pending before the United States Supreme Court. The Court will be reviewing the constitutionality of two provisions of the Texas statute regulating abortions—the “ambulatory surgical center” requirement and the “admitting privileges” requirement—which, when fully implemented, will shut down over 75% of abortion clinics in Texas and effectively eliminate access to safe abortion services for thousands of women in the name of protecting women’s health. The District Court in Texas found the provisions unconstitutional; the Fifth Circuit reversed. In its amicus brief, the City Bar argues that the Fifth Circuit abdicated its affirmative duty to review legislative findings when constitutional rights are at stake, thereby abandoning the essential role of the judiciary as a crucial “check” on legislative overreach. It further argues that the admitting privileges requirement is an improper delegation of legislative power to private hospitals and therefore offends due process. Because the challenged provisions drastically curtail—and, for many, eliminate—access to safe abortion care in Texas without advancing women’s health, they present a substantial obstacle to women’s access to abortion services and are unconstitutional.