Pro-lifers rejoiced last summer, and with good reason, when Texas passed laws to stop abortions on pain-capable babies and impose some common sense safety standards on Texas abortion clinics. But claims advanced by the media that this would end up crippling the abortion industry and permanently shutting down clinics all across the state may have been both a bit premature and exaggerated.
There were stories of clinics being closed, here and there, several before the law even took effect. The media ran story after story lamenting that women supposedly had nowhere to turn and thus were running to border town flea markets to obtain black market abortion pills.
But there were also signs that the biggest players in abortion industry were taking advantage of the publicity to raise money to build bigger clinics with an eye toward coming out stronger than before.
Back in March, Planned Parenthood of South Texas (PPST) announced that it would be building a $5 million new center in San Antonio that would meet the new standards (see https://nrlc.cc).
This week, Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas (PPGT, which covers Dallas/Ft Worth, Austin, Waco, and the North Texas area) announced that it, too, was going to be setting up a new abortion clinic in the south Dallas area that would be in compliance with new state guidelines.
No details yet on exactly whether Planned Parenthood is building a bigger or just buying a more modern facility. However the aim is quite explicit: to maintain PPGT’s ability to perform abortions in the area.
PPGT indicated that it plans to offer abortion at its new facility sometime in August. PPGT’s current abortion clinic in Dallas does not meet state standards, but will stay open to provide other services once the new abortion clinic opens.
PPGT is also renovating other (non-abortion performing) clinics run by the affiliate in Addison, Arlington, Cedar Hill, and Lewisville with “generous support from donors in our communities.”
The new legally compliant “ambulatory surgical center” maintaining PPGT’s marketing share in abortion in Dallas is part of a three-pronged effort by the affiliate’s “Building Our Future Fund.”
The other two prongs include a “Patient Assistance Fund” to help cover transportation and lodging expenses of women seeking abortions from farther away, and money to help existing “health centers” stay open.
It is interesting, in light of what Planned Parenthood has been doing around the country–closing or consolidating smaller clinics, expanding or modernizing older clinics, and building giant regional mega centers–to see PPGT not only setting up the new center in Dallas, but also using funds from this new initiative to explicitly (in their own words) “renovate, consolidate, relocate, or update health centers as needed.”
Information for this report taken from Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas press release of July 15, 2014, accessible online.