WASHINGTON — First in line at the Supreme Court for a seat in the courtroom on Monday morning was Amy Hagstrom Miller, the owner of the Whole Woman's Health abortion clinic at the center of the big case remaining for decision this term.
Hagstrom Miller, who started Whole Woman's Health in 2003, told BuzzFeed News that this was the fifth time she has come to the court to see if the justices had reached a decision in her case, which challenges two provisions of the Texas law passed in 2013 that placed significant restrictions on abortion providers.
"We're very hopeful for a 5-3 ruling in our favor, but there's lots of different ways they could rule, and I want to hear right when it happens," Hagstrom Miller said on Monday morning. "And not only the ruling, but also listen to the dissent and finally have conclusion for the last three-and-a-half years, as we've been fighting against the law."
The two provisions of a Texas law known as HB2 that the case is challenging are the requirements that abortion facilities need to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs), where outpatient surgeries are performed and that doctors who perform abortions also must have admissions privileges at a nearby hospital. Abortion providers and advocates have said the law would result (and has resulted) in many Texas clinics closing because they do not meet standards.
Asked about the clinic's preparations in advance of the anticipated ruling, she said, "We have a lot of different contingency scenarios at Whole Woman's Health, both if we get a 5-3 or we get a 4-4 [decision], and so we're trying to just weigh the different options and be prepared no matter what the outcome is."
Regardless of the decision, she said, she and her colleagues will continue their work.
"Ultimately, our commitment is to do what we can to see as many Texas women safely and with compassion and dignity as possible, no matter what the outcome is. But, obviously, we'll be able to do that a lot more effectively if we get a win."