Texas Abortion Clinics Await a Decision that Will Decide Whether They Stay Open Sept. 1

Categories: Healthcare

Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas
Dallas' new ambulatory surgical center-certified Planned Parenthood, which will meet state requirements no matter what.

On September 1 the most stringent portion of House Bill 2, the anti-abortion legislation passed by the Texas Legislature last year, is scheduled to go into effect. Any healthcare clinic in the state that provides abortions will be required to be an ambulatory surgical center.

If the rule takes effect, the number of clinics that provide abortions in Texas will drop from 20 to seven, all located in urban areas. Whether or not it will comes down to a lawsuit awaiting a decision in federal court. The suit, brought by the Center for Reproductive Rights, asserts that the final requirement of HB2 places an "undue burden" on women seeking an abortion.

One of the seven clinics would be Planned Parenthood's new Dallas clinic, pictured above, a retrofitted ambulatory surgical center. The clinic, which began serving patients two weeks ago, meets every HB2 requirement regardless of what happens with the lawsuit, says Sarah Wheat, spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas.

"When a state restriction on abortion creates a substantial obstacle to women's ability to access safe and legal abortion, that's unconstitutional. As we described during the trial that happened just a few weeks ago in Texas, the ambulatory surgical center requirement is going to severely restrict access in the state," Julie Rikelman, the Center for Reproductive Rights' litigation director says.

Before any HB2 requirements were effective, 10,000 Texas women of reproductive age lived more than 200 miles from an abortion provider. Now, that number is 290,000 and will increase further should the lawsuit be unsuccessful. When access decreases, danger to pregnant women increases, says Dr. Hal Lawrence, the executive vice president and CEO of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

See also: How Texas' New Abortion Restrictions Have Actually Impacted Access to the Procedure

"Women will resort to other means to try to terminate a pregnancy, which will put their lives at risk," Lawrence says. "Second, some women will deny that they are pregnant and not seek pre-natal care and end up having increased risk in pregnancy, increased risk of maternal mortality and increased risk of babies with developmental abnormalities."

A similar suit in Mississippi, decided in late July, led to the state's only abortion clinic being allowed to stay open. A portion of the ruling in that case says that forcing women to seek an abortion across state lines does create an undue burden on those women.

"In the Texas case, the state's attorneys were saying that the elimination of access to abortion in certain large parts of the state was OK, and was constitutional, because women could go to New Mexico. That argument by the state is of course flatly contradictory to what the panel of judges in Mississippi found," Rikelman says.

A ruling is expected in the Texas case before September 1.

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The major problem for pro life advocates lies in the fact that prior to Roe the number of births dropped by more than a million and after Roe they increased by more than a million. The Old Saw that says abortion has killed 50 million babies is simply untrue. Abortion has lead to more life not less. http://naturalabortionlaws.com/?p=79

Add to that the fact that there are 1.8 born babies, children and adults dying each second an you begin to understand the evil impact of the anti abortion movement. The fact is that each pro lifer has a choice, they may choose to save an innocent born baby or they can choose to let the born baby die and save a fetus instead. The choice of the pro life movement is to let innocent babies die.

A nation that kills its born babies to save its fetuses cannot survive.


Healthcare is a decision between you and your doctor, except when it inconveniences right wing facists. Don't people read the fine print when they vote Republican? It's clearly in the TOS.

TheRuddSki topcommenter


Healthcare is a decision between you and your doctor....

.... and the government.

"Keep your hands on my body!"

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