As a reproductive justice activist, I have been dreading this week since last summer, and I’m sure I’m not alone.
September 1 was supposed to be the day that HB 2′s ambulatory surgical center restriction was implemented, which would have shut down all but a few abortion clinics along the I-35 corridor.
And this morning, Texans received even more good news: Whole Woman’s Health will open a new clinic in New Mexico this month to help fill the gap in abortion access that that HB 2 has created.
Whole Woman’s Health in Las Cruces, New Mexico will open on September 15 to serve women from southern New Mexico, Juarez, West Texas, and surrounding areas.
Whole Woman’s Health also announced today that their clinic in McAllen will reopen and the organization will launch a non-profit advocacy initiative to fight back against abortion stigma.
“Last Friday we were hours away from closing our fifth clinic due to restrictions by Texas politicians,” said Whole Woman’s Health CEO Amy Hagstrom Miller. “Instead, today it’s back to business as usual in San Antonio, Fort Worth, and again in McAllen, providing abortion care in the Whole Woman’s Health model without stigma or shame.”
The new clinic in Las Cruces will provide abortion services without many of the unnecessary restrictions that Texas clinics face.
In New Mexico, state Medicaid covers abortion procedures. Additionally, the state has not passed the TRAP laws that turn a 15-minute procedure into a two-day affair, so the Las Cruces facility will perform same-day abortions.
The Fifth Circuit Court is the next hurdle for Texas abortion providers. The Court will commence hearings for HB 2 on September 12.
“We are more than resilient in the face of these threats,” said Hagstrom Miller. “We are stronger and more determined than ever. We won’t sit back and witness the continued political interference in reproductive decision making by politicians, especially when low-income women, women of color, and rural women bear the brunt of it.”
Natalie tweets from @nsanluis.