On June 27, in the worst ruling since Plessy v. Ferguson five white Supreme Court Justices told the State of Texas it had to ignore the 14th Amendment requirement to provide "equal protection of the laws".
The ruling was even worse than Plessy. Plessy
merely allowed states to enact Jim Crow segregation laws.
Justice Stephen Breyer's opinion in Whole
Women's Health v. Hellerstedt requires the state of
Texas to allow continued operation of Jane Crow health
facilities. A Jane Crow facility provides health
care to black women but doesn't have to meet the same high standards
as facilities that treat white men.
Abortion surgery involves the removal of a significant sized biomass
from deep inside a woman's body much like cancer surgery does.
The Texas law requires facilities performing abortion surgery
on women to meet standards for surgical facilities that treat white
men. Women occasionally die from carelessly performed
abortion surgery including Tanya Reaves who bled to death after an
abortion at an unlicensed Jane Crow facility in Chicago or Cree
Erwin who recently died in Battle Creek, Michigan, after an abortion
at an as yet unidentified facility.
Justice Breyer's reasoning is consistent with the type of reasoning
used by justices in the late 19th Century. He falsely claims
that the law places a burden on those seeking abortions. The law
doesn't restrict patients from seeking abortions. The law
merely forces those organizations that want to get money from
performing abortions to spend enough money to maximize patient
safety. The law requires abortion facilities to function like 21st
Century medical facilities instead of mid-20th Century abortion
mills. The law doesn't restrict anyone's "right" to an
abortion. The law merely forces organizations performing
abortions to spend more money on patient safety even if that reduces
the amount of money available for the salaries of doctors and
Breyer's reasoning is comparable to late 19th Century Court rulings
that prevented states from protecting workers from predatory
employers. The Court claimed that such laws interfered with
workers' freedom of contract.
The justices who agreed with Breyer are similar to the justices who
allowed Jim Crow segregation laws to remain in effect for 60
years. The justices during the Jim Crow era simply ignored the
fact that the facilities provided for blacks were inferior. I
don't know whether they intended to be racists, but for all
practical purposes they were. I don't know if the
justices who overturned the Texas law which would have eliminated
substandard Jane Crow facilities intend to be racists, but they