ODESSA, Texas—Karen Hildebrand’s death threat came in 1994. She was hosting a birthday party for her 10-year-old son when someone called the house and told her husband to start digging a hole, because he was going to put her in the ground.
Hildebrand knew why. At the time, she was the CEO of Planned Parenthood in West Texas, a deeply conservative area where many fiercely opposed her work. The previous day, a conspiracist named John Salvi killed two receptionists at a Planned Parenthood in Brookline, Massachusetts.
“I couldn't call the police because the other kids’ parents would never let them come back to my house, and my child would have no friends,” Hildebrand told me recently.
Then there was the time her coworker, Carla Holeva, who handled community affairs for Planned Parenthood, was at the grocery store “minding my own business” when a man and young boy approached her.
“Get a good look at her,” she recalls the man telling the boy. “She's a very mean woman. She likes to kill babies.”
In their decision in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt on Monday, the Supreme Court struck down parts of the law that would have closed all but 10 abortion clinics in Texas, a state with nearly 5.5 million women of reproductive age. In a 5-3 decision, the Court ruled that the law’s requirement that doctors who perform abortions have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and that abortion clinics maintain facilities comparable to surgical centers placed a “substantial obstacle” in the path of women.