When Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed anti-abortion legislation into law in July—after stirring protests and state Sen. Wendy Davis‘s now-famed filibuster—women’s rights advocates warned that it would lead to the closure of numerous Texas clinics that provide abortions. The reason: They wouldn’t be able to meet the harsh, unnecessary regulations that require clinic doctors to have admitting privileges to local hospitals and that the clinics follow the same standards as outpatient surgery centers.
The fears for the fate of women’s health centers offering abortions are now being realized.
Last week, Planned Parenthood closed its clinics in Midland and San Angelo—clinics that served a combined 3,000+ patients a year, and not just for abortion services. The San Angelo clinic also offered cancer screenings, contraceptives and well-woman exams.
Also scheduled to close are clinics in Bryan and Harlingen, and several others are rumored to be shutting their doors as well. Of the state’s 42 clinics, 37 are considered to be in jeopardy of closing because of the new law.
Earlier this year, Gov. Perry decided to defund Planned Parenthood in the state, thus forfeiting millions of dollars in federal Medicaid that would help poor women attain health care. Two clinics went out of business since then (before the most recent closures).
At least one ray of light has shown through the dark news: The Perot Foundation, founded by former presidential candidate Ross Perot, announced last week that it was giving $1 million dollars to Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas. Said his wife, Margot Perot,
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. 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.
Partially adapted from the Feminist Newswire