In bit of good news after the U.S. Supreme Court’s devastating abortion ruling Monday, abortion business managers cautioned their supporters not to expect abortion facilities to reopen in Texas any time soon, ABC News reports.
The Texas law that the high court overturned Monday protected women’s health and saved tens of thousands of unborn babies’ lives by requiring abortion facilities to meet the same health and safety standards that legitimate medical facilities do. It also required that abortionists have hospital admitting privileges in cases of patients’ medical emergencies.
After the law went into effect in 2013, more than half of the state’s 41 abortion facilities closed because they could not or would not comply with the new health and safety regulations. Currently, there are 19 abortion centers operating in Texas. If the full law had been allowed to go into effect, up to 10 more likely would have closed.
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In a statement, Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick pointed out what the high court ruling means for Texas women and babies.
“Now abortion clinics are free to ignore these basic safety standards and continue practicing under substandard conditions,” Patrick said. “By its ruling, the court held that the ability of abortion clinics to remain open – even under substandard conditions – outweighs the state’s ability to put women’s health and safety first.”
Fortunately, many of the abortion facilities that shut their doors after refusing to protect women’s health and safety could remain closed. Leaders of both the abortion chain that challenged the Texas law and Planned Parenthood told their supporters not to expect all of the closed abortion clinics to reopen any time soon.
Here’s more from ABC News:
But even with those mandates now gone, Planned Parenthood and others providers are not yet making promises about breaking ground on new facilities in Texas.
And any openings, they cautioned, could take years, meaning that women in rural Texas counties are still likely to face hours-long drives to abortion clinics for the foreseeable future.
Buildings need to be leased. Staffs need to be hired. Clinics must still obtain state licenses and funds for medical equipment must be raised. Meanwhile, the Republican-controlled Legislature is all but certain to remain hostile to abortion providers that try to expand.
Amy Hagstrom Miller, the founder of the abortion chain Whole Woman’s Health, which challenged the Texas law, said it will be a “daunting task to determine whether and how” to reopen her abortion clinics that closed. State inspection reports revealed numerous health and safety violations at Miller’s facilities, including unsanitary equipment, expired medication and a lack of nurses on staff.
Bhavik Kumar, an abortionist who works for Miller, told the Huffington Post that they will have to negotiate new leases and hire new staff, a long process, before they are able to reopen any abortion facilities.
Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards also would not commit to opening new abortion businesses in Texas, according to the Associated Press.
“Just to reestablish services in a community and get the licensures is just not something that is going to happen overnight,” Richards said.
Wendy Davis, the pro-abortion media darling and former Texas state lawmaker who filibustered the Texas law, told ABC that she expects to see several abortion facilities reopen within the next six months, but Texas never may have 41 abortion facilities again.
While abortion activists blame that on the pro-life law, other factors likely are keeping abortion chains from expanding in Texas again. One is that their abortion business is dropping. National abortion statistics show abortions dropping to historic lows as more women choose life for their unborn babies. Studies also have found that abortion clinics are closing at record rates, especially in rural areas, because they are losing business and can’t find doctors willing to do abortions.