Since passing, House Bill 2 has had devastating effects on the number of clinics operating in Texas. Six of the forty clinics open when the bill passed closed by August of 2013, and currently there are less than thirty clinics serving the state.
The last provision requires all clinics to meet the standards for Ambulatory Surgical Centers. Abortion providers are currently involved in a trial against the state in the hopes of stopping the provision before it goes into effect on September 1st. Until now, this law hasn’t had the deep impacts that were expected – but on September 1st, all that will change.
More on the impact of the last provision below the jump. Though the law was supposedly based on protecting women’s health, and the first ruling in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals found that motivation grounds enough to uphold the law, what will happen come September could not possibly be seen to be in the best interest of women’s health.
The Lilith Fund, an abortion fund serving central Texas, brought attention to this fact in a statement on their blog:
Even before this final part of the law takes effect in September, hundreds of thousands of Texans now live over 200 miles away from their nearest clinic. Waiting times have shot up at clinics, and with that wait comes an increase in cost. All of this conspires to force more people to carry pregnancies to term that they don’t want, and cannot afford. All of this endangers the health of Texans.
Once the Ambulatory Surgical Center provision goes into effect, there will only be six operational clinics in the entire state. And these clinics will only be located in large, central cities – leaving Texans on the border, in the panhandle, and in east and west Texas without options.
As a matter of fact – there will only be one clinic for every million women of childbearing age. That’s right – for every million women who might need to access abortion services, there will be one clinic in operation come September 1st. There is no way to gauge what the consequences will be, but there is simply no way that these six clinics will be able to handle the need for services in Texas, and Texans will be left out in the cold.
If you want to help secure access to abortion for Texans in central Texas, check out The Lilith Fund’s #M1LLION campaign today.