Justice Kennedy’s Retirement Could Have Big Ramifications For Abortion Rights In Texas

Abortion rights advocates in Texas state the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy raises the stakes for laws gone by the state Legislature.

"We are one of the states where the harshest restrictions are evaluated out, then if they meet with approval, they make it through our Legislature and after that they go combat it out in the courts," says Rosann Mariappuram, a board member with NARAL Pro-Choice Texas and a reproductive justice legal fellow.KUT's Ashley Lopez reports Mariappuram says when it comes to

abortion laws, the United States Supreme Court has actually served as a sort of examine Texas in the past a number of years-- and votes have actually been really close. So, she says, a change to the makeup of the court is a huge offer. "I think there is an extremely real concern that-- like what we saw with HB 2-- the only method that 2 of the most damaging limitations were prevented was by a court battle,"Mariappuram says.For anti-abortion groups, however, Kennedy's departure from the bench is a huge win.Texas Right to Life said

in a statement that his retirement provides a"historic opportunity"and that it prepares to push President Trump to choose a justice who is against abortion rights. The group said it will"continue to pass sensible incremental legislation that conserves lives."Aimee Arrambide, the program manager and reproductive rights policy professional at the general public Leadership Institute, says it's not unexpected that anti-abortion groups here are commemorating."I believe that they are going to be as pushed as they have actually been, "she says,"however we won't have that defense of the Supreme Court that we've had in the past. And I think that's what's pretty scary." Arrambide says under the Trump administration the courts have actually gotten more conservative-- consisting of the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. That implies if people wish to defend abortion rights in Texas, she states, they'll need to do it at the tally box."It shows that we have to take notice of our state and regional elections, "she says.Kennedy's retirement could likewise affect access to contraception

, Arrambide says. Conservative groups have actually pressed legislation permitting employers to reject protection for their staff members on religious grounds, to name a few things. Abortion rights groups in Texas recently filed a suit challenging

a slew of old abortion laws that limit gain access to to the procedure in the state. They say that suit is connected to past Supreme Court judgments on abortion rights, which could change with a new court.