HB 2 Ruling Reactions, Local Impact

Only one Austin abortion clinic survives HB 2

HB 2 Ruling Reactions, Local Impact
by Illustration by Jason Stout.

Following yesterday’s 5th Circuit Court ruling that allowed Texas’ abortion law, House Bill 2, to take effect, only one out of three surviving reproductive health care providers remains in Austin.

As a licensed ambulatory surgical center, the Planned Parenthood South Austin center on 201 East Ben White Boulevard, is able to keep its doors open for abortion-seeking women in Austin. However, Austin Women’s Medical Center (Brookside) on 1902 I-35 has stopped offering abortion care today due to the law, a clinic employee told Newsdesk. It was the only remaining non-ASC center in Austin since September – the abortion physcian at International Health Care Solution on 9805 Anderson Mill Rd retired one month ago and the Whole Woman’s Health care clinic on 8401 N I-35 shut its doors at the end of July as result of the onerous restrictions imposed by HB 2 The ruling has closed all but an estimated seven clinics statewide.

Reactions on HB 2 from Democrats, pro-choice advocates and the medical community:

State Sen. and candidate for governor, Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth: “Women should be able to make these deeply personal decisions without the intrusion of politicians like Greg Abbott, who supports making abortion illegal even in cases of rape and incest."

NARAL Pro-Choice TX Executive Director Heather Busby : “It is gravely disappointing that the 5th Circuit has put ideology above the law. HB2 is an undue burden on Texans’ access to safe, legal, and timely abortion care and was efficiently designed to close abortion clinics, not to protect the health and safety of Texans. HB2 puts Texans’ health at risk. We are already seeing that Texans are suffering because of HB2, and with the closure of all but eight abortion clinics in a state as large and populous as Texas, the effects will be devastating."

Jennifer Dalven, director of the American Civil Liberties Union Reproductive Freedom Project: “This is a devastating day for Texas women. The court’s decision ignores the medical experts, who have recognized that these laws hurt women, not help them. It essentially tells extreme politicians not to worry about medical evidence or a women’s safety, and that it doesn’t matter if women and families pay the price.”

John C. Jennings, president of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: “Decades ago, the US Supreme Court recognized that the US Constitution guarantees women access to safe, legal abortions; that's a settled matter. Thanks to good medical care, abortion is one of the safest procedures. Under the guise of making abortion safer, these requirements actually make abortion less safe and will prevent women from getting the abortions they need."

Nancy Northup, president and CEO of plaintiffs, the Center for Reproductive Rights: “All Texas women have been relegated today to a second class of citizens whose constitutional rights are lesser than those in states less hostile to reproductive autonomy, and women facing difficult economic circumstances will be particularly hard hit by this devastating blow. Absolutely no woman’s rights or access to essential reproductive health care should be determined by her zip code. We will continue fighting on every front to put a stop to these assaults and defend every woman’s right to the full range of safe, legal reproductive health care.”

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