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July 11, 2016

It was yet another U.S. Supreme Court ruling lifting state-legislated restrictions on abortion. The rulings are almost routine, but they do give a peephole into the mindset of those who favour legal abortion.

The 2013 Texas law required abortion clinics in the state to meet the same safety requirements of other walk-in medical clinics, in regards to staffing, buildings and equipment. As well, it required abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a local hospital.

The goal was to protect women's health. It wasn't even a subtle attempt to protect the lives of the unborn. If abortion clinics complied with the regulations, none would close and abortions would continue unabated.

In a dissenting opinion, Justice Samuel Alito argued that the restrictions protected women. "The law was one of many enacted by states in the wake of the Kermit Gosnell scandal, in which a physician who ran an abortion clinic in Philadelphia was convicted for the first degree murder of three infants who were born alive and for the manslaughter of a patient," Alito wrote.

A year ago, a federal appeals court ruling reached a similar conclusion: The requirements did not cause an undue burden for women seeking abortion and they did protect women's health.

However, "pro-choice" advocates maintained the hospital admitting privileges requirement caused the number of Texas clinics to drop from 41 to 20 over the past couple of years.

The Supreme Court judge who wrote the majority opinion decided the rules would provide few if any health benefits for women and did place an "undue burden" on their alleged constitutional right to abortion. The undue burden was that some clinics might close because they couldn't or wouldn't meet the requirements, and women would have to travel further if they wanted an abortion.

The Supreme Court ruling should make it clear that legal abortion is less about protecting women's health than about the pre-eminence of an ideology of unrestricted choice. Nothing will get in the way of women's supposed right to abortion.

Alito said because of technical legal requirements, the case should not have been heard by the Supreme Court in the first place. The court is supposed to be neutral, but in abortion cases, it is not.

Ideology rules the roost even when the supposed right to abortion is not at issue.