Texas Abortion Clinics Prepare to Close After New Law
At least four abortion clinics in rural Texas and possibly three more are preparing to close, hobbled by a state law that requires the clinics to meet tougher medical standards.
Administrators say a major reason for shuttering the clinics is that their doctors are having trouble getting admitting privileges at local hospitals — a new legal requirement that goes into effect at the end of next month.
The tally of potential closures is the clearest evidence yet of the effects of the bill the GOP-run Legislature passed amid a raucous debate and that Gov. Rick Perry signed into law.
Since the beginning of the year, two clinics have gone out of business, according to state records. If the seven others do so, the state will have lost almost 25 percent of the 37 licensed facilities that provide abortions.
Almost all are in smaller cities, and abortion rights supporters worry that women in rural areas will lose access to the procedure and face more hardships.
Amy Hagstrom Miller, founder and CEO of Whole Woman’s Health that operates five abortion clinics, said she expects more — beyond the seven — will cease operations later this year, unable to comply with the added restrictions.
Miller has secured admitting privileges for physicians in two of the five abortion facilities. She doesn’t plan to close any at this point.