Abortion Services Restored at Whole Woman’s Health in Fort Worth, Texas

A reproductive health-care clinic that was recently forced to close due to stringent restrictions passed by the Texas legislature has once again opened its doors to clients after a doctor affiliated with the clinic obtained admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. Whole Woman’s Health in Fort Worth, one of five Whole Woman’s Health (WWH) clinics in the state, announced Tuesday that it would reopen. This leaves the WWH clinic in McAllen as the only one of the five clinics to still be closed.

The Texas legislature passed several restrictions on reproductive health care this summer. After a 13-hour filibuster by current gubernatorial candidate Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth), the legislature reconvened later in the summer and passed HB 2, which created a slew of new restrictions on abortion care, including a mandate that doctors affiliated with clinics providing abortion services obtain admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic.

Amy Hagstrom Miller, CEO at Whole Woman’s Health, told RH Reality Check that “yesterday was a victory mainly because we can now serve women again and I can bring my great staff back to work.” As she explained, WWH was forced to lay off 34 employees at multiple clinic sites in the past three weeks due to the new regulations.

Because the process to gain admitting privileges is not standardized at hospitals across the state, doctors seeking admitting privileges must navigate different types of bureaucratic red tape. Hagstrom Miller told RH Reality Check that WWH now has a doctor at four of five of their clinics with admitting privileges; each of the clinics previously had three or four doctors on staff.

“Whole Woman’s Health in Forth Worth and the provider there had to perform acts of heroism, gymnastics, and rigorous stubborn determination to survive,” said Hagstrom Miller. “Yet, still the other three doctors that have served Whole Woman’s Health of Fort Worth so well for years up till now are still out of work and without privileges. It’s absurd.”

Despite the clinic’s reopening, Hagstrom Miller remains concerned about the overall effect the Texas legislature is having on women’s health. “It’s tragic. Absurd. And it changes by the day,” said Hagstrom Miller. “So yes this news … is a ‘win’; but it’s like a rug burn on Goliath’s knee, and Goliath is still very much in charge.”

Like this story? Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

For more information or to schedule an interview with contact press@rhrealitycheck.org.

Follow Teddy Wilson on twitter: @txindyjourno

  • cjvg

    So what now?
    Are they now going to pass a law that doctors who provide reproductive care for women (that includes providing needed abortions) also have to be able to perform open heart surgery and kidney transplants (simultaneously of course) to be considered qualified enough to safely provide abortion procedures?!

  • painkills2

    Kudos to the hospital that allowed admitting privileges, and to the determination of those fighting for Texas women. And anybody fighting to ensure that people lose their jobs in this economy is just… cruel.

  • http://www.ebog.me/ ebog

    women in need of protection and care, I am glad to read this post

  • http://www.gahe.co/ Gahe

    Despite the recovery, the health effects of it later next you can not imagine. Do not have a certainty that the worst case does not happen if you then good recovery. However, many, many women who leave their children when they are a few months.