Travel Guide: Where to Take an Abortion Roadtrip After Texas' New Anti-Abortion Law Takes Effect

Vagina demagogues.jpg
The most restrictive part of Texas' new. controversial abortion law isn't its ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy -- only 1 percent of abortions occur after this time anyway. It's the "ambulatory surgical center" regulation that requires all clinics that perform abortions to become ambulatory surgical centers, which sounds nice on paper but in reality would require tons of abortion clinics in the state to make renovations they can't afford or shut down.

For Texas women living outside large metro areas who want an abortion, if the law goes into effect it will likely mean a road trip, so we've compiled a handy abortion travel guide.

If you want to go out of state ....
An unplanned pregnancy can give you a fun excuse to leave Texas and see the rest of the country. Just be sure to avoid all states that are near Texas. "When we look at the states surrounding Texas, you know New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, there are not that many providers in any of them," said Elizabeth Nash, the state issues manager at the Guttmacher Institute, a nonprofit group that supports reproductive health. "So if main clinics close, access will be impacted in a negative way, women will have to travel further, they may cross state lines. This will be detrimental to women's health."

On the plus side, California has a lot of excellent women's health clinics and beaches.

If you want to go out of the country...
The New York Times reports that many women may be tempted to seek "abortion pills" in Mexico. The drug misoprostol, also available at some flea markets in Texas, can induce miscarriages. What's the appropriate dosage?, you may wonder, and is it dangerous to my health? Answer:If doctors knew the answer to either of those questions, then that would take all of the excitement out of your abortion pill vacation!

"When asked how women should use the pills, some of the pharmacists said they did not know and others recommended wildly different regimes that doctors say could be unsafe," the Times reported.

Also, keep in mind that a woman in Mexico was recently sentenced to one year in jail for having an abortion.

A more relaxing abortion vacation destination would have to be Canada.

If you want to stay in Texas ...
Under current guidelines, only five of Texas' 42 abortion clinics are surgical centers. Luckily, this handy map shows that the clinics remaining open are all in Texas' biggest cities with the most to do anyway: San Antonio, Houston, Dallas and Austin. We want you to come to Dallas, but everyone likes Austin better because it has a really hip abortion legislation scene.

If you're far from a major Texas city and are too poor to travel across the country...
Uh, this is awkward, but we have no travel guide for you.

The Dallas Morning News recently visited the Whole Woman's Health clinic in Beaumont, which is the only clinic in the city. It mostly serves poor women, and employees told the DMN that it can't afford to make the $3 million renovations necessary to become a licensed surgical center. And the next closest clinic is 80 miles away, in Houston.

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32 comments
yoka
yoka

Congrats, Amy.  This story just made the 'Ben Ferguson Show'!

arecbarrwin
arecbarrwin

Amy, you might want to take the time to read the statute.  No abortion clinics are required to close under SB 5.  Furthermore, abortion clinics have until September 1, 2014 to meet the minimum standards adopted under Texas law for ambulatory surgical centers.  And those standards are not difficult to meet.  Very few clinics closed in PA, VA, and other states that have adopted similar health and safety standards.

raisedbyninjas
raisedbyninjas

Since giving birth carries a risk of death 14 times higher than abortions http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/23/us-abortion-idUSTRE80M2BS20120123, I'm sure these sympathetic legislators are already writing legislation to outlaw homebirths and midwifery.  As it stands, abortion Drs need a M.D and midwives only need a correspondence course.  Because these politicians care about the health of women and not a puritanical disdain for casual sex right?

Trina Taki Hendrix-Hamilton
Trina Taki Hendrix-Hamilton

^^ um, you dumb wh*re, pay for your own damn birth control and/or close your funky legs when youre ovulating. That's what I do and I dont have to worry about which clinics are open or not or how far they are because I DONT NEED TO GO!! Both of you are morons. Sex is RESPONSIBILITY first and foremost, and not something you should treat as a playground and treating pregnancy as an INCONVENIENCE! Maybe all you wh*res out there will think twice before opening your legs if you have to scrounge up gas money to drive far away to go kill your babies or get free condoms and pills!!! Next thing you know you all will be begging for gas money!! Get a effing job and BUY YOUR OWN sh*t so you can screw freely, and get your own health insurance or save up for your annual! Ive been there, done that, I take responsibility for MYSELF! Way back when I DIDNT have muchl I had to learn to count on myself!! Nowadays I have a career, and health insurance! Now please! STFU! and btw Adam I think youre ignoring the fact that you have a penis and not a vagina....

pak152
pak152

" told the DMN that it can't afford to make the $3 million renovations necessary to become a licensed surgical center" and the DMN (which looks at Parkland with a jaundiced eye) accepts the clinic's dollar figure on blind faith. how about asking the clinic for a breakdown of the costs. which items are mandatory requirements and which are optional. is the clinic counting (and I suspect this is the case) counting both mandatory and optional requirements

pak152
pak152

so would it be possible for you to provide a list of the 'onerous' ambulatory surgical clinic requirements that the abortion centers are unable to comply with? i've read and heard that the abortion centers can't comply, so please supply us with the requirements and why they can't be complied with. I know that one requirement is that ambulatory surgical centers are required to report about patients transported to a hospital for treatment.

rufuslevin
rufuslevin

or maybe just try some safer sex?  or maybe some higher quality medical facilities might offer abortion services if they are paid for with real money? or maybe just get a higher quality coathanger if you just gotta gotta get rid of something for free.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

Actually, that map is nice for putting perspective on the situation.  The vast majority of the "forced to close" clinics (which is like the people "forced to quit smoking" when the cig tax goes up) aren't the ones that everyone is crying about.  25 of the 42 are in major metro areas that will still be serviced by properly outfitted and staffed clinics.

If the debate had been about finding some exemption to allow the 12 centers that are now talking about to stay open, you might have had a chance in public opinion.  Instead, the anti-bill faction when Full Abortionist, and tried to keep every single clinic nasty and underequipped.

You never go Full Abortionist.

JustSaying
JustSaying

You Amy, I'm really happy for you and Imma let you finish but Anna Merlan had the best vagina demagogues of all time.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

3/5 Vaginas.  stepping it up with a travel guide, but you missed major opportunities to talk about Perry again and all of his minions.  Can we get an expose on the travels of his minions to local bath houses.  I hear he like the rub n tug with a happy ending from dudes. 

Why do they call pap smears, pap smears?

Bc if they called them c*nt scrapes, women wouldn't get them.  ADIOS MOFOs

pdcgimpy
pdcgimpy

@raisedbyninjas My mom is a midwife that has worked at many hospitals.....These days midwifery is less about the "home birth" aspect and more about hospitals receiving child birth revenues while not having to pay the full salary of a doctor.  Though I agree with you on the home health and "birthing centers" dilema you bring up.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@Trina Taki Hendrix-Hamilton 

Too bad we can't abort your righteous indignation or moral superiority.

pdcgimpy
pdcgimpy

@Trina Taki Hendrix-Hamilton wow, because we all know mistakes never happen you ignorant khunt

casiepierce
casiepierce

@pak152 I'm just thinking that if I go to me dentist and then imagine that they'd have to widen the hallways and rooms in their office space, how it could be done feasibly. It's not hard to imagine that the expense wouldn't be worth it. Of course, I would then assume that they'd have to look for a bigger space and then rehab it, and again, I'm not thinking that it would be very cheap.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@rufuslevin

"real money"??? "higher quality coathanger if you just gotta get rid of something for free"????

good grief, that's just about as idiotic as it gets. a new standard has been reached!

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@everlastingphelps

you have the discussion completely wrong. The "ones that everyone is crying about" are clinics OUTSIDE the major pop centers of Austin, San Anton, Houston and DFW.

Half of Texas lives outside of these metros, many TX residents will have difficulty in accessing clinics, in many cases 100's of miles away. It's easy to see that the lower income will be most affected.

it's important to look at the punitive measures regarding the "morning after pill" in the bill. the new requirements, none of which are suggested by ANY drug regulator (FDA), physician group or drug manufacturer, a woman who wishes to be given the pill will need to visit the clinic for 4 days.

as for the "nasty and underequipped", interesting that no one can provide any instance of a woman in Texas who failed to get adequate care at one of these clinics, or who suffered any unsanitary afflication by their care at one of these clinics.

the phrase "nasty and underequipped" is applys best to the legislators who voted for the bill, the former describes their actions towards texas women and the latter their reasoning abilities.

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

So at what point are we going to close down all those "dirty" podiatrist, ophthalmologist, dermatologist, dentist, psychiatrist, etc. offices and require them to be housed in ambulatory surgical centers? I mean this is all about patient health, right?

It's a bullshit end around Roe, it has nothing to do with patient health. The entire thing was simply a de facto abortion ban, with it obvious that 5 clinic can't come close to covering the needs of the entire state. The mistake the pro-choicers made was going all '60s radical protest instead of calling the GOP's bluff and saying, "Fine, lets require all remotely surgical procedures be done in ambulatory surgical centers since this is about patient health."

And then the bill would've died a quick death as half the dentists offices in the state would have to close down and a dermatologist would be impossible to find.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@ScottsMerkin I'd have to agree this time.  By the third installment, we should, at the very least come away smeared in Perry Pus, and we should get at least one catch phrase worthy of a T-shirt.  Unfortunately, some of us are getting exactly what we've been asking for, to-the-point reporting with a minimum of snark.  And we don't like it.

rufuslevin
rufuslevin

@mavdog @everlastingphelps just not so...go read about the one in Lufkin part of a three clinic practice....the services were never providing abortions in Lufkin anyway, and the other services are provided by other facilities cheaper anyway.   The liberal arguments are all bogus.

pak152
pak152

@P1Gunter"So at what point are we going to close down all those "dirty" podiatrist, ophthalmologist, dermatologist, dentist, psychiatrist, etc. offices and require them to be housed in ambulatory surgical centers?" maybe when those same clinics end up killing their patients or send way too many of them to hospitals for treatment. aren't those same clinics subjected to inspection by the state? I can understand why abortion centers don't want to be inspected if Dr. Gosnell's clinic is the norm

rufuslevin
rufuslevin

@P1Gunter funny, I just would not choose to go to a nasty dentist, dermatologist, ophthalmologist, etc as the Free Market Lets me choose where I spend my healthcare money.  If we are talking about social services, well, shouldn't a govt sponsored facility be a cleaner example of excellence to demonstrate a high level of standard for commercial ones?

Oxtail
Oxtail

@P1Gunter "So at what point are we going to close down all those 'dirty' podiatrist, ophthalmologist, dermatologist, dentist, psychiatrist, etc..."

Probably when they start doing abortions. I mean, I'd hate to go to a podiatrist for an ingrown nail, and then he walks in with an ice cold speculum. ...akward.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@RTGolden1 

yes, I should listen to your good advice....

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@pak152 @P1Gunter 

can you show where any facilities in TX have an instance of "killing their patients"? or ones that "send way too many of [their patients] to hospitals"?

I don't believe you can.....

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@rufuslevin @P1Gunter 

these are not "government sponsored", no tax money is paid for abortion services.

the "free market" is great for many things, that isn't the great point that P1Gunter makes. The regulations are being thrust on these clinics while other medical facilities providing simialr medical services are not being required to have these same facilities. If it is critical for these clinics why is it not critical for others?

the answer: it isn't necessary for any of them. P1Gunter is showing the falacy of these new rules.

pdcgimpy
pdcgimpy

@Oxtail @P1Gunter As long as we make it clear this is about shoving Jesus down everyones throats and not about safety, im totally ok with it /s.  I mean who doesnt like the idea of someone else shoving their morals and fairy tales down your throat....I mean we already have it with laws that ban us from purchasing liquor on church day....why stop there, we dont want to piss off our sky daddy jeebus too much now do we?

CogitoErgoSum
CogitoErgoSum topcommenter

@Oxtail @P1Gunter The point is that many of these other medical professions also offer outpatient surgeries with the possibility of a patient having a bad reaction to anesthetic or some other problem. Why were these clinics targeted, specifically? P1Gunter is correct in answering that question. The professional medical associations also have agreed.

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