Supreme Court considering if Texas abortion laws should be loosened

- Texas abortion laws are some of the strictest in the country but could that change?

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments today asking the justices to loosen abortion restrictions in Texas. 

Plenty of people planted themselves outside Planned Parenthood in Houston protesting and even praying that the U.S. Supreme Court will not loosen laws pertaining to abortion.

”Just praying that no women and her unborn child should have to go through the horror of abortion and, unfortunately, should she make that decision at least it's done in an ambulatory surgical center,” explains Executive Director of The Houston Coalition For Life Christine Melchor.

Texas abortion laws changed in 2013 requiring facilities that terminate pregnancies to meet the same standards as hospital surgical centers and mandating physicians have privileges at a hospital within thirty miles.

“We had women calling us the next day, hundreds of women, whose appointments were canceled overnight,” says Rochelle Tafolla with Planned Parenthood of Houston. Tafolla says the new law has forced facilities, mostly in rural areas, out of business. 

“Your rights to health care shouldn't depend on where you live and that's what this law has done.  If you don't live in a major city in Texas you simply don't have safe, legal abortions,” Tafolla adds.

One argument presented before the supreme court? The tougher abortion restrictions are putting women at higher risk. 

“There have already been studies that have shown women having to delay up to twenty days an abortion and by delaying it it's actually making it riskier for women,” says Tafolla. 

Meanwhile those rallying at Planned Parenthood of Houston have parked a mobile bus outside, offering an alternative to abortion.

”We offer free pregnancy tests and free ultrasounds and Christian counseling and of course resources,” explains Melchor.   

The Supreme Court Justices are expected to announce their decision, likely this summer.

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