But the kind of law that Texas passed is aimed at shutting down clinics entirely. It does so by imposing a set of requirements on clinics that are designed to be nearly impossible to meet. The best known is the requirement that the physician performing abortions must have admitting privileges at a hospital within a certain radius of a given clinic. This would have precisely zero effect on whether a woman suffering complications from an abortion could get care at any hospital; a doctor without admitting privileges can still bring her patient to the hospital if it becomes necessary. It just means that one of the hospital’s doctors would have to officially admit the patient.
Because of an organized campaign of terrorism aimed at abortion doctors over the last couple of decades, which has included bombings and assassinations, many doctors come from out of state to provide abortions, and therefore can’t have admitting privileges; hospitals are also reluctant to bestow the admitting privileges on a doctor providing abortions for fear they too could become a target.
Like other restrictions, the admitting privileges requirement was concocted by Republican legislators precisely because they knew many abortion clinics would be unable to satisfy it and would therefore have to shut down. Texas’ law also requires that facilities performing abortions meet the building standards of ambulatory surgical clinics, which can mean millions of dollars in unnecessary upgrades.
This decision wasn’t surprising, given that the 5th Circuit is a particularly conservative court. But the reasoning of the judges was breathtaking all the same. The Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision written by Sandra Day O’Connor in 1992 established the “undue burden” standard, which says that a state can restrict abortion so long as the restrictions don’t impose an undue burden on women. This court decided that despite the fact that Texas’ law would mean that one out of every six women in the state would live more than 150 miles from the nearest abortion clinics after the law shut so many of them down, that wouldn’t constitute an undue burden. As Jeffrey Toobin wrote: “The members of the Fifth Circuit panel seem to believe that anything short of a nationwide ban on abortion does not amount to an undue burden on women’s rights. This is the argument that will soon be heading to the Supreme Court.”
There's no reason to believe the result in the eventual Supreme Court ruling will be anything other than a 5-4 agreement with the 5th Circuit, with Anthony Kennedy's lasting legacy being the effective end of abortion in red states.
It just goes to show you that Republicans don't care about non-intrusive small government at all, they just want a government that punishes their political enemies and refuses to help them when they come looking for relief. It also goes to show you that Republicans consider unmarried women to be their political enemies (as well as married ones who may not want to carry a child to term.)
But there's no war on women, and you should probably stay home because you're mad at Obama and not vote next month.