Texas Republicans have introduced a measure to impose unnecessary, overly restrictive regulations on the state’s abortion clinics — a move that could ultimately force more than 60 clinics to close, as RH Reality Check reports.
Even though the state senators pushing for the legislation claim it will “force abortion clinics in Texas to put women’s health first,” it actually represents an effort to jeopardize women’s reproductive health by cutting off their access to the medical care they need. Legal abortion services are already incredibly safe medical procedures, and the new guidelines for the state’s clinics will simply force dozens of facilities to close their doors for no good reason:
The modifications required for compliance with ambulatory surgical center standards would require clinics to make significant structural changes, like widened hallways and modifications to air flow patterns, that one abortion provider told RH Reality Check are “unwarranted” in terms of improving the health and safety of abortion patients.
“There’s no basis in medicine that requires the higher level of sophistication of the physical plant and regulations that go with an ambulatory surgical center,” said Amy Hagstrom Miller, founder of the Whole Woman’s Health group of reproductive health clinics, oversees five clinics in Texas, one of which is an ambulatory surgical center.
“Abortion is a procedure, it’s not a surgery,” said Hagstrom Miller. “There’s no incision made.”
Texas is simply following in the footsteps of anti-abortion activists across the country who attempt to indirectly limit women’s access to reproductive health care by targeting abortion providers — similar legislation in Mississippi, North Dakota, and Alabama threatens to leave the women in those states without a single abortion clinic.
In fact, 92 percent of Texas women already live in counties without an abortion clinic — and if their GOP lawmakers successfully push through this measure, that figure would rise even further. But that’s hardly the only barrier to reproductive care that women in the Lone Star state face. Texas Republicans have already defunded Planned Parenthood clinics, and they’re also seeking to further restrict the abortion pill.