Planned Parenthood Announces Imminent Closure of East Texas Abortion Clinic

Cites onerous restrictions of HB 2

Planned Parenthood Announces Imminent Closure of East Texas Abortion Clinic
Illustration by Jason Stout

Planned Parenthood of the Gulf Coast today announced that it would close three clinics in eastern Texas, including its abortion facility in Bryan, which PPGC President Melaney Linton said is directly attributable to the provisions of House Bill 2, signed into law today by Gov. Rick Perry.

"While we believe the excessive and medically unnecessary requirements imposed on clinics providing early abortion are unconstitutional, we have made the difficult and practical decision to close Planned Parenthood Center for Choice in Bryan at this time rather than face the prospect of having to do so in the foreseeable future," Linton said in an emailed statement.

HB 2 bans abortion after 20 weeks and places stringent new regulations on abortion clinics and abortion-performing doctors. Supporters of the bill say the regulations are needed to protect the health of women seeking abortion; bill opponents say the measure is designed solely to eliminate abortion in Texas.

In addition to the closure of the Bryan facility, PPGC said today that it will be closing clinics in Lufkin and Huntsville, where Planned Parenthood has provided family planning and basic health services to low-income and uninsured women for nearly 40 years. The closures were prompted by the drastic cuts to family planning funding in 2011, and the move last year to eliminate Planned Parenthood from the Women's Health Program (since re-branded the Texas Women's Health Program). "In recent years, Texas politicians have created an increasingly hostile environment for providers of reproductive health care in underserved communities," Linton said. "Deplorably, the combined impact of years of budget cuts to women's health care services and the dismantling of the successful Women's Health Program will take affordable, preventive health care options away from women" in these communities.

The clinics are slated for closure at the end of August.

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