In yet another blow to reproductive justice in Texas in the aftermath of House Bill 2, Whole Woman’s Health of Austin was forced to close this week. The Austin clinic was the first Whole Woman’s Health facility opened by founder Amy Hagstrom-Miller in 2003. From the announcement on their blog:
Austin was our flagship clinic, serving the community of Central Texas with the best abortion care available to women for over ten years. House Bill 2, which passed last summer, has forced us into yet another closure, this time because we’re unable to meet the standards of an ambulatory surgical center at this location.
The closure comes mere days before Whole Woman’s Health goes to trial to challenge two provisions of the omnibus abortion bill: the requirement that physicians have admitting privileges, and that all facilities must meet ambulatory surgical center standards. The full statement from Whole Woman’s Health announcing the closure is below.
“We wanted to let you know that as of today, July 31, Whole Woman’s Health will close its Austin clinic doors.”The closure today of Whole Woman’s Health of Austin is the result of politicians acting against women in our state when they passed HB2. They continue to be relentless in taking personal health decisions away from women by passing onerous and medically unnecessary restrictions,” commented Amy Hagstrom Miller, CEO, Whole Woman’s Health.
This announcement comes just days before the August 4 trial date, when Whole Woman’s Health and other independent providers will challenge the onerous requirements of House Bill 2 (HB2) set to go into effect September 1, 2014 in the legal challenge Whole Woman’s Health vs. Lakey. The outcome of the trial will ultimately decide the fate of Whole Woman’s Health clinics around the state, with the exception of Whole Woman’s Surgical Center in San Antonio, which meets the requirements of HB2 and will remain open into the future.
“While Austin has stopped providing abortion care, our Fort Worth clinic remains open and we hold out hope that this trial will allow us to remain open and continue serving that community and possibly even reopen some of the WWH clinics that HB 2 forced us to close,” said Hagstrom Miller.”
You haven’t seen the last of us yet. We have a lot of things up our sleeve and the lawsuit next week is just the beginning.”