Abortion case goes to Supreme Court: 5 things to know

The U.S. Supreme Court is set Wednesday to hear Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt, a case that could have serious ramifications on abortion laws around the country.

Here are five things to know about the case and its potential impact.

1. According to The Hill, the court will hear oral arguments Wednesday. It is the court's first abortion case in nine years.

2. The case challenges a law in Texas that would reduce the number of abortion clinics to 10 from 40 statewide, due to new requirements for physicians and clinics, according to The Hill. Some of the facility requirements include minimum corridor width, bed spacing, floor tiles, washable ceilings and the angle of water flow out of drinking fountains, according to Reuters.

3. Opponents of the law say it violates the Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision, which prohibits states from placing "undue burden" on women who want abortions, according to the report.

4. Eight justices will vote, due to the recent death of Justice Antonin Scalia. If the court votes 4-to-4, the justices can elect to re-argue the case later — perhaps by the time a ninth judge is appointed. However, if the vote ties and the judges do not choose to re-argue the case, the lower court's ruling stands in that jurisdiction.

5. In the case of Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt, this means Texas would be left with just 10 abortion clinics statewide.


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