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Cruz, Cornyn Lead Coalition Filing Amicus Brief in Support of Texas HB 2

Senators joined by U.S. Reps. Hartzler, Olson, Smith

February 3, 2016

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202-228-7561

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and John Cornyn (R-Texas), along with U.S. Reps. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), Pete Olson (R-Texas), and Lamar Smith (R-Texas), led a broad congressional coalition filing an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of Texas HB 2, which establishes standards for abortion providers and facilities. The Supreme Court will hear arguments in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt later this spring.          

“Those who advocate for abortion often claim that it should be ‘safe, legal, and rare,’” Sen. Cruz said. “Unfortunately, abortion is not always ‘safe’ for women. Not long ago, we saw just how dangerous an unscrupulous abortionist can be. Kermit Gosnell, who ran a Philadelphia abortion mill, treated his women patients little better than the unborn babies he slaughtered. He subjected the women in his care to unsanitary, degrading, and inhumane treatment, undermining their dignity and health, and even taking one of their lives. In response to this horror, the Texas Legislature enacted H.B. 2, just like other state legislatures across the country, to ensure that abortion clinics are held to the same medical standards as other medical facilities. But even this commonsense regulation for the protection of women is too much for the abortion lobby, which has challenged the regulation all the way to the Supreme Court. For the most zealous abortion advocates, nothing—not even women’s health—can be allowed to stand in the way of abortion-on-demand. Today, a bipartisan group of 174 members of Congress have filed an amicus brief in defense of the right of legislatures across the country to enact medical protections for women. I am honored to have worked with my fellow senator from Texas, John Cornyn, and with Reps. Vicky Hartzler, Pete Olson, and Lamar Smith to bring this mighty coalition together.” 

“By requiring abortion clinics to be held to the same standards as other medical facilities, the Texas law protects the health of both the mother and child,” said Sen. Cornyn. “Upholding this law is important not just for the well-being of women and children in Texas, but to preserve the right of states to pass laws that are in the best interests of its citizens.” 

“The potential impacts of this case are staggering,” Rep. Hartzler said. “Upholding this law ensures that the abortion facilities don’t get a free pass on health and safety standards at the expense of women’s health, and it could serve as a template for other states.  Overturning it endangers women’s health and could place other reasonable regulations on abortion in jeopardy.  The infamous abortionist Kermit Gosnell was not an outlier - we must protect women and children from other Gosnells.”

“Texas has a sacred duty to protect the health of our residents, which is why physicians performing abortions must practice the same safety standards as every other medical practitioner,” Rep. Olson said. “Our Constitution gives states the autonomy to determine the best laws to protect public health. I was proud to join both of our Texas Senators, every Texas US House Republican and a bipartisan group of 174 other Senators and House members in urging the US Supreme Court to uphold this life saving Texas state law. Women seeking an abortion and the unborn babies who may survive an abortion attempt deserve quality care in the event of an emergency.  The Supreme Court should give deference to states like Texas on matters of life and health.” 

Rep. Smith said, “States like Texas have both the right and the responsibility to ensure the highest health and safety standards for their citizens. This bill includes practical, common-sense measures that protect lives and prioritize women’s health.  I hope that the Supreme Court will rule in favor of life and states’ rights to regulate within their own borders.”   

In total, 34 senators and 140 House members have signed onto the brief, which can be found here

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