Planned Parenthood closed two rural Texas clinics last week. On top of providing cancer screenings, contraceptives, and preventive exams, the now-closed clinic in Midland provided surgical abortions, and the clinic in San Angelo provided medication abortions. Together, the clinics saw over 3,000 patients each year who will now have to travel elsewhere for reproductive health services.
According to Dallas News, "a major reason for shuttering the clinics is that their doctors are having trouble getting admitting privileges at local hospitals--a new legal requirement that goes into effect at the end of next month." Under the new law, abortion providers must have admitting privileges in hospitals within 30 miles from their clinic. The requirement is part of a bill passed by the GOP-run legislature and Governor Rick Perry that imposes restrictive laws on abortion clinics. Five Texas abortion clinics have closed in the past three years, and five others are expected to close soon, due to exclusion from state funding for women's health and an inability to comply with the new requirements.
Fortunately, the Perot Foundation, founded by Ross Perot, former conservative presidential candidate, announced last week that it was giving one million dollars to Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas. Margot Perot said, "Our family has supported this nonprofit for many years because we are impressed with the work they do--providing birth control; scientifically based education; breast health exams; and basic, life-saving healthcare for women who cannot afford services otherwise." She added, "We also recognize the need to further inform the public of the mission of this great organization and the need to support it at this critical time."
Media Resources: RH Reality Check 9/4/2013; Dallas News 9/5/2013; North Dallas Gazette 8/29/2013