Yet another Texas abortion clinic appears set to close, thanks to a pro-life law the Texas legislature approved putting health and safety requirements in place that legitimate medical centers can meet but substandard abortion clinics cannot.
The new law, House Bill 2 which passed in during the second special session of the Legislature last summer, also mandates that abortion practitioners secure admitting privileges at a nearby hospital in order to carry out abortions. This admitting privileges requirement went into effect on October 31 of last year.
The law has already closed other abortion clinics and one in El Paso may be next, according to a local report:
Dr. Franz Theard, the doctor who owns El Paso’s Hilltop Women’s Reproductive Clinic, said there is no way his business can afford to make the upgrades required by House Bill 2, a controversial law passed in a special legislative session last summer that places harsh new regulations on abortion. Among them, the new law requires that clinics retrofit to qualify as “ambulatory surgical centers” — which would require Hilltop to widen hallways, enlarge surgical suites, add locker rooms, install backup generators and make other changes.
“We’re not going to retrofit and spend $2 million to become a surgical center,” Theard said.
Only five of Texas’ 36 licensed abortion clinics complied with the regulation at the time House Bill 2 was passed. It goes into effect Sept. 1.
Another requirement of the law — that doctors at abortion clinics have admitting privileges at local hospitals — is already in effect. That requirement has forced some Texas clinics to stop performing abortions, including clinics in McAllen and Beaumont that announced earlier this month that they would close.
El Paso’s other clinic, Reproductive Services, was forced to stop offering abortions for several months last year.
This is the same abortion clinic that was caught helping a minor teen evade Texas’ parental involvement law and where an abortion clinic worker threatened to run over a pro-lifer.