Right now, as this story is being written, four clinics provide abortions in Dallas: Abortion Advantage, Planned Parenthood, Routh Street Women's Clinic and Southwest Women's Surgery Center. Two, Whole Woman's Health and Planned Parenthood, are open in Fort Worth. But read quickly, because it's possible some of those will be closed by the time you finish.
OK, maybe that's an exaggeration, but not by much. The truth is that 40 years after Roe v. Wade made abortion legal, the state of abortion rights in Texas is more in flux than ever. Despite the fact that three local clinics were able to reopen thanks to a recent Supreme Court ruling, even in a big city like Dallas women have to navigate a maze to get a safe, legal procedure.
You can blame the TRAP for that.
TRAP -- "targeted restrictions of abortion providers" -- is a term used to describe laws like Texas' HB2, which required, among other things, clinics providing abortions to meet standards set for ambulatory surgical centers. U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel ruled that provision unconstitutional and stopped its enforcement. Texas appealed and the conservative 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided earlier this month to let Texas enforce the law until it made a final ruling on the case challenging the law.
Thirteen abortion clinics, including three in Dallas, closed briefly until the U.S. Supreme Court last week ordered Texas to hold off enforcement until the 5th Circuit rules.More »