Search Form
First, enter a politician or zip code
Now, choose a category



The Voter’s Speakeasy featuring unbiased reporting and insight into life at Project Vote Smart from our staff, interns, and volunteers.

Potential Ramifications of Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt & an Overview of Recent Abortion Legislation

2016 July 25

On June 27, the Supreme Court issued a 5-3 ruling on Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. Justice Breyer wrote the majority opinion, reversing and remanding two provisions of HB 2, which was passed by the Texas legislature during a special session in 2013.

The majority opinion was largely based on Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which reaffirmed that states cannot place an “undue burden” on those seeking an abortion.

The challenged provisions are often known as the “admitting privileges requirement”—which requires the physician performing the abortion to have active admitting privileges at a nearby hospital—and the “surgical-center requirement”—which requires abortion facilities to meet ambulatory surgical center standards. While the Supreme Court’s ruling applied to Texas’ law, specifically, this ruling may impact a series of laws that also include these two provisions.

Ten states (AL, KS, LA, MS, OK, WI, MO, ND, TN, and UT) passed laws that involve an admitting privileges requirement. Most of those laws have been passed since 2011 and require those who perform abortions at clinics to have admitting privileges to a hospital no more than thirty miles away. Some states specify fifteen miles while other states specify fifteen minutes.

However, admitting privileges requirements in Alabama, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin have been overturned by lower courts.

Several states, including Michigan and Tennessee, have laws with surgical-center requirements that are similar to the one in TX HB 2, while many others have slightly differing surgical-center requirements.

Whole Woman’s Health, the plaintiff in the Supreme Court case ...

Read More


More Posts

Voting Rights for Convicted Felons

2016 July 22

2016 has seen several state legislators propose changes in the regulation of voting rights for individuals with felonies, and the timeframe for felons to receive the right to vote.

Marijuana, States and Presidential Nominees

2016 July 20

The legislative year of 2016 has seen a multitude of bills passed that authorizes the use of marijuana in many states.

The Native American Energy Act: Economic Prosperity or Traditional Tribal Values?

2016 July 13

 The state of American Indian land sovereignty, health, and welfare becomes more and more complex as the demand for American energy independence grows.........

Open Senate Seats: Nevada

2016 July 05

 In 2016, there are five Senators who are retiring: two Republicans and three Democrats. Flocks of candidates have put their bid in for the chance to become their state’s newest junior Senator.

Britain Exits the EU: What's Brext for the US?

2016 June 30

 This past week, the world watched as 30 million Brits took to the polls to vote on a referendum deciding Britain's future within the European Union. A referendum is a general vote by the constituency on a single political question.....................

Legislators’ Demonstrate to Spur Votes on Gun Control

2016 June 28

 On Wednesday, June 22, 2016, more than 170 House Democrats led by Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), a former leader in the Civil Rights movement, staged a sit-in on the floor of the House of Representatives to try to spur votes..........

What is an Omnibus Bill?

2016 June 27

 Have you seen a recent headline about Congress passing an omnibus bill? Curious about what this obscure sounding piece of legislation is? Below we provide a non-partisan explanation of omnibus bills.....

To require voter ID or not require ID? A Heated Question

2016 June 15

 Has your state recently passed a Voter ID law? Want to know what the arguments for/ against this legislation are? Read our non-partisan breakdown of this heated political issue: 

Share Vote Smart With A Millennial Voter

2016 June 07

 ...Today’s young people are rejecting participation in democracy by not voting in elections.......

Skip to top
Back to top