Skip to Main Content

The Supreme Court will hear its most important abortion case in decades on Wednesday — and the outcome may depend on one justice’s perception of just how much the procedures put women at risk.

There are about 1 million abortions a year in the United States — 90 percent of them in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy — and, overall, they’re extremely safe.


But in the name of increasing protections for women, several states have passed laws requiring abortion clinics to meet the same building codes as ambulatory surgical centers (such as hallways wide enough for gurneys) or requiring clinic doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. The Supreme Court will hear a challenge to a Texas law, HB2, which includes both of those mandates.

Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free!