Abortion practitioners across the country are responsible for nearly 57 million abortions. They kill unborn babies on a daily basis, kill and injure women in failed abortions, and leave women, men, and families dealing with devastating mental health and spiritual issues as a result.
While a majority of Americans oppose abortion and believe abortions ought to be illegal, MSNBC held a segment calling abortion practitioners heroes. The Maddow show story focused on the anger abortion advocates have over pro-life laws in Texas and other states resulting in closing abortion businesses because they can’t seem to follow the law.
On Wednesday night, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow featured an exclusive segment about the current state of pro-life laws in Texas, following the implementation of HB2, the Texas abortion safety law that added additional safety measures for women visiting clinics. The piece concluded with the announcement that Whole Women’s Health, which owns and operates abortion clinics across the state, was closing two of its five centers, in McAllen and Beaumont, respectively.
Maddow’s take on pro-life politics in the state was misinformed at best. First, she laid out a background of pro-life legislation in Texas that is false. In her estimation, one minute after the Republican Party took control of the state’s legislature in late 2002, all Republican politicians set their sights firmly on pro-life legislation—or as Maddow would phrase the issue: “attacking women’s right to abortion.” Republicans simply stood and worked for policies that reflect the values of their voters.
Maddow chronicled the gruesome professions of two abortionists in the Rio Grande Valley as if they were heroes. One of these is abortionists Lester Minto, whose clinic in Harlingen was forced to close last Friday after Minto could not meet the requirements of HB2 to operate within the new law. Among other stipulations, HB2 requires that abortionists secure admitting privileges at hospitals near their clinics. According to Minto’s interview with Slate, he brazenly sent women south of the border after the passage of HB2 so that they could obtain the drug misoprostol for self-induced abortions (an off-label use of the drug, which can lead to maternal death). Minto, perhaps unsurprisingly, was not able to achieve privileges at any of the hospitals near his clinic despite multiple requests.
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Generally, a physician in good medical standing faces few obstacles when obtaining admitting privileges, although the hospital’s credentialing board can take a few weeks or months to approve or reject the request. As of HB2’s implementation, some abortionists already had admitting privileges. Many others were able to swiftly obtain them. Abortionists like Lester Minto may prove that they do not value women’s health and safety; therefore, they are a liability to a hospital that would cooperate with their substandard abortion practice. Substandard abortion clinics that cannot or will not comply with Texas law are dangerous for women and will not be tolerated by the pro-life majority of Texas. If Maddow truly cared about women and their “safe, legal, and rare” choice of abortion, she, too, would want the practitioners out of the abortion business.