Amy Hagstrom Miller is the key abortion activist behind the U.S. Supreme Court case Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, which challenges a life-saving Texas law.
Hagstrom Miller, who runs an abortion business chain in Texas, challenged the 2013 state law that protects women’s health and welfare by requiring abortion clinics to meet the kinds of medical and safety standards that legitimate medical centers meet. The law is arguably responsible for saving the lives of tens of thousands of unborn babies by closing abortion clinics that are unable to protect women’s health.
Ahead of the high court hearing on the case Wednesday, Hagstrom Miller talked about her abortion businesses and her reasons for challenging the law in an interview at AlterNet. She told pro-abortion writer Valerie Tarico:
I was raised in a liberal Christian tradition, and I come to the work because of that background, not in spite of it. The Jesus that I was taught about would be holding the hands of women inside the clinic; he wouldn’t be screaming at them. Acting on Christian principles is holding the hands of people at difficult times in their lives, and being supportive and nonjudgmental and kind. That is very much what we bring to the work. I don’t know how to say it more clearly than that.
Hagstrom Miller made the usual pro-abortion claims against the law: that it restricts women’s access to abortion, that women need abortions, that pro-lifers don’t care about women and that abortion advocates like herself do.
Hagstrom Miller described how her abortion businesses operate:
My commitment is to holistic care: one-on-one counseling; physical surroundings that are warm and comforting with fleece blankets and herbal tea and lavender walls; and freedom to talk about spiritual or cultural concerns. I am committed that these aspects of care not get sacrificed. We will comply with whatever we have to comply with and challenge whatever we have to challenge. But the hearts and minds of women are at the center of who we are.
But her claims appear disingenuous when compared to state inspection reports of her abortion clinics. A report to the Texas state legislature at the time the Texas law was adopted showed that Hagstrom Miller runs shoddy abortion clinics that put women’s very lives at risk, LifeNews reported.
According to documents obtained by the Texas Alliance for Life from the Texas Department of State Health Services, four of Hagstrom Miller’s five abortion facilities were cited in the past three years for dozens of health and safety violations. Violations include unsterilized equipment, inadequate medical staffing, expired medications and “numerous rusty spots” on suction machines that had “the likelihood to cause infection.”
These conditions hardly fit Hagstrom Miller’s description of a “warm and comforting” atmosphere and a safe, caring oasis for women. These are the types of safety violations that the Texas law is meant to protect women from.
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Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony List, said laws regulating abortion businesses are needed because of cases like these.
“The Kermit Gosnell case in Philadelphia, among many others, sheds light on the urgent need to establish effective health and safety standards for the abortion industry. This is an industry that puts profits over people, and cannot be trusted to self-regulate,” Dannenfelser said previously.
Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee, previously pointed out why abortion business owners like Hagstrom Miller are so vehemently opposed to these laws while claiming to protect “women’s health.”
“The abortion industry doesn’t like these laws because abortion clinics would be forced to spend money to meet basic health and safety standards” Tobias said. “For them, this isn’t about ‘protecting’ the women they purport to help, it’s about preserving their cash flow.”
In a previous interview, Hagstrom Miller complained about just that – not making enough money because of laws like the one being challenged in Texas.
The U.S. Supreme Court heard Hagstrom Miller’s challenge of the law Wednesday. The Supreme Court has not directly addressed the issue of abortion since 2007, when the Court upheld the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act in Gonzales v. Carhart.
A ruling on the case is expected in June.