Tags: Texas | abortion | clinics | Wendy Davis

Texas Law Shuttering Abortion Clinics Statewide

Friday, 18 Jul 2014 04:19 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

The number of abortion clinics has dropped by half in Texas since state lawmakers passed a controversial requirement that doctors have admitting privileges at hospitals near the facilities, and some watchdogs say there may only be six of the facilities left by this fall.

Last year, before the law was passed, there were 41 abortion clinics in the state, but now there are just 20, reports National Public Radio.

Many of them closed because their doctors could not comply with the law, which passed after bitter fighting that included Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis' national newsmaking filibuster and led her to launch a bid for the governor's office.

The law took effect in November, but this week marks its first anniversary of passage.

"We're seeing people being pushed further into pregnancy," said Heather Busby, the executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas. Patients are "having to leave the state, having to drive and sleep in their cars in parking lots because of these barriers to access."

The final part of the restrictions will go into effect Sept. 1, and requires all offices that provide abortions to upgrade the facilities into ambulatory surgery centers, which Busby says most can't afford to do and will have to close.

"This would basically force all the clinics to become mini-hospitals," she said. "They have to have hallway widths a certain length, and a janitor's closet, male and female locker rooms, which is completely unnecessary — and a bunch of other regulations that are really not appropriate or do anything to increase the safety of one of the safest procedures in the country."

The law's supporters say the omnibus legislation makes abortion safer and will protect women. Last year, when the law passed, Republican state Sen. Donna Campbell told The Texas Tribune that there was nothing in the law "that will close a clinic. That's up to the clinic. If they want to put profit over a person, that's up to them."

But Busby argued abortion is one of the safest office-based procedures and has a complication rate of less than .05 percent.

Several of the remaining abortion providers joined together in April to file a lawsuit to stop the ambulatory center requirement, reports The New York Times.

The clinics, which are backed by major medical associations, complain that the law singles them out for costly regulation that is not required for other outpatient facilities or procedures.

The lawsuit was filed shortly after a federal appeals court refused to overturn the law's provision concerning hospital admitting privileges.

Whole Woman's Health, one of the groups involved in the lawsuit, at one point had six clinics in Texas, but was forced to close two of them. If the court action doesn't stop the final part of the law from being implemented, the group will need to close three more clinics in Fort Worth, Austin, and San Antonio because of the surgical requirement, leaving just one other open in San Antonio.

As a result, Busby told NPR, there are no abortion clinics now in all of East Texas or in the Rio Grande Valley. The newly built Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast in Houston fulfills the ambulatory center requirement, she said, and will stay open.

Related Stories:

© 2015 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Arizona's Sheriff Joe Picks Patriots; Inmates to Get Popcorn

Saturday, 31 Jan 2015 23:21 PM

The Arizona lawman who bills himself as America's toughest sheriff predicts the New England Patriots will win the Supe . . .

Los Angeles, America's Homeless Capital, Counts Its Down-and-Outs

Saturday, 31 Jan 2015 21:46 PM

Notebook in hand, Ana Alvarez walked along the streets of Skid Row, the downtown Los Angeles district that's sometimes c . . .

Police Probing Alleged Corruption in Nevada Legislature

Saturday, 31 Jan 2015 19:59 PM

Las Vegas police have confirmed they are investigating allegations of corruption in the Nevada Legislature involving an  . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved