Another Independent Texas Abortion Provider Shuts Its Doors


Another independent Texas abortion facility has closed its doors just days before its owner returns to court to challenge part of HB 2, the omnibus anti-abortion law that has shuttered more than half of the state’s legal abortion facilities since it went into effect last November.

“The closure today of Whole Woman’s Health of Austin is the result of politicians acting against the women in our state when they passed HB 2,” said Whole Woman’s Health CEO Amy Hagstrom Miller in a press release on Thursday. The Austin facility was the Whole Woman’s “flagship” location, featuring warm lighting, purple tones, and inspirational quotes from women such as Aretha Franklin and Audre Lorde.

Hagstrom Miller once oversaw the provision of legal abortion care at five locations across Texas, but over the past several months, she has closed her clinics in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley and Beaumont, in East Texas. Today, only Hagstrom Miller’s clinics in Fort Worth and San Antonio—where Whole Woman’s operates a hospital-like ambulatory surgical center (ASC) facility—remain open.

However, the Whole Woman’s Fort Worth clinic, and all other Texas abortion providers that do not meet the standards of ambulatory surgical centers, will close come September 1 without a court ruling blocking the implementation of HB 2. A federal judge in Austin is scheduled to hear the latest challenge to the law—brought, in part, by Whole Woman’s Health—this Monday, August 4.

The ambulatory surgical center requirement could be the last of four provisions of HB 2 to go into effect. The law currently bans abortion after 20 weeks, severely restricts the prescription of medication abortion to the extent that it requires Texans to visit a doctor four separate times, and mandates that doctors who provide legal abortion care have admitting privileges at hospitals within 30 miles of where they perform procedures.

If Whole Woman’s Health and its fellow plaintiffs are unable to secure an injunction against the law in federal court, the availability of legal abortion care will potentially be reduced to just five Texas cities: Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio. Five of the eight remaining providers are expected to be Planned Parenthood facilities, with the vast majority of independent abortion providers closing their doors in the wake of HB 2. Planned Parenthood has announced plans to open two new ASC facilities, in San Antonio and Dallas, before the September 1 deadline.

“While Austin has stopped providing abortion care, our Fort Worth clinic remains open and we hold out hope that this trial will allow us to remain open and continue serving that community and possibly even reopen some of the Whole Woman’s Health clinics that HB 2 forced us to close,” said Hagstrom Miller.

As of July 31, 19 Texas abortion facilities remain open, down from 41 in the spring of 2013, before conservative lawmakers proposed HB 2 in a special legislative session last summer.

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  • fiona64

    Once again, women of means will still be able to access services while those without will not.

    • StealthGaytheist

      Yep. Poor women get the shaft, as usual.

  • dudebro

    A great question that pro liars can never answer: how are you gonna stop rich and upper middle class women from traveling to get an abortion? Should not all feritile women be prohibited from traveling?

    • Suba gunawardana

      That’s not a concern to them, considering their real purpose is to breed a nation of slaves to serve the rich.

      • Ella Warnock

        I think they’d very much like to control wealthier women as well, but short of removing their right of free travel and association, they know that such a thing would be impossible in anything less than a police state. And I’m not saying they wouldn’t love a police state if that meant getting women back under the mantle of patriarchy.

        • dudebro

          I asked the question of one forced birther today and I received an evasive answer until he reluctantly told me that all fertile women between the ages of 12 and 50 should remain under house arrest for the fertile period of their lives lest they seek to travel for an abortion.

          • Ella Warnock

            Do you think he’s for real or is he just trying to provoke?

          • dudebro

            He is currently posting on Cross Examined and is dumber than a box of rocks.

          • goatini

            This IS the end game. From menarche to menopause, females as property of the State. It was ever thus for millennia, and not a few would like it to again be so.

          • StealthGaytheist

            Meanwhile these same people claim to be for ‘freedom’ and ‘small government’.

          • StealthGaytheist

            Wow. I’d rip out my uterus before I’d submit to that crap.

          • lady_black

            Yeah? What country does he believe he lives in?

          • dudebro

            Not a clue. Some religious asshat from Cross Examined at Patheos. The guy was a few turnips short of a full truckload. Made myintx look smart.

          • lady_black

            I’d love it if you would link to the post.

          • dudebro

            http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2014/07/human-sacrifice-in-the-bible-2-of-2/#comment-1523308331

            If you are looking for fresh meat, I have another one for you. Simon Jm doesn’t quite understand how the law works, and has painted himself into a corner here, but is too stupid to see it:

            http://blog.secularprolife.org/2014/07/begging-questions-and-trotting-out.html#comment-1531562899

            http://blog.secularprolife.org/2014/07/begging-questions-and-trotting-out.html#comment-1531541538

            He has invented this concept of ‘situational existential dependency’, and if you refuse to provide ‘duty of care’ to either your toddler or your zygote, you are guilty of harming a moral being, and should go to jail for your crime. However, he says that women *do* have the right to abortion, since their bodily autonomy is infringed upon, however, if they dare to exercise that right, they should go to jail for failing ‘duty of care’ to the’ moral being’ that is the zygote.

            He has accused me of painting myself into a corner, which is ironic, since his stance necessitates classifying conception as a ‘harm’ done to the zygote (since he compared it to throwing your buddy out into the snow, creating an existential dependency), yet he makes all of these allowances for how the ‘natural death’ of zygotes in other cases is totes ok because we wouldn’t want to infringe upon people’s right to privacy.

            He’s a whackjob, and not very bright.

          • lady_black

            Existential “need” doesn’t create rights. PERIOD.

          • dudebro

            His arguments are a more sophisticated version of Myintx’ space bending toddler.

          • Arekushieru

            But… but… if conception must necessarily be classified as harm, how is removing someone from that harm ALSO considered harm? @_@ /me is confused.

        • lady_black

          Holy Handmaid’s Tale, Batman!

          • Ella Warnock

            Forced-birth males probably find that tome very wankable.

    • Ella Warnock

      Heeeyyy, that’s a good question! ;->

    • lady_black

      That would be unconstitutional.

      • Ella Warnock

        Ah, but we know our little forced-birth friends would nuke the constitution from space if it would further their cause to bring every zygote to fruition.

  • Arab225

    I used to be sympathetic to the argument of reproductive rights for women, but that has since changed given the fact that most feminists won’t do the same for men when the shoe’s on the other foot. Why should a man be forced to pay child support when a woman makes a unilateral decision to have a child? Women have had their way with unconscious men, poked holes in condoms, surreptitiously impregnated themselves after oral sex etc. and the response has all been the same….”boo hoo, get over it, be a man and finance MY decision”. In light of this, I hope they shut down more abortion clinics and continue to truncate the time frame in which a woman can get an abortion.

    • fiona64

      Perhaps you and the rest of your MRAsshole friends should do something radical and, you know, actually *talk* to women before you bone them. That way, you could find out their plans in the event of contraceptive failure and only dork women who think the same way you do.

      Poor thing.

      • Arab225

        Just how is a man supposed to talk to a woman if she has sex with him while he’s unconscious? How is a 15 year old boy supposed to know whether his licentious teacher supports abortion or not? You feminists are so polarized that you can’t even sympathize with the other side. You want all of the reproductive choice–which includes abortion, adoption, & safe-haven laws– as well as the right to have someone else pick up the tab for your decision. It’s this simple, if it’s your “choice” it shouldn’t be our responsibility. If the child wants support, it should look solely to the individual who decided that it should be here.

        End of discussion you uneducated virago.

        • dudebro

          “virago”

          Thats a big word. You sexy manbeast you.

        • fiona64

          I’m married, monogamous … and my son is an adult. You just make all sorts of ASSumptions about people, don’t you?

          Sorry about your tiny penis, dudebro.

          • Arab225

            When did I accuse you of being single or promiscuous…and when did I say that your son was a child or a teenager?

            I’m sorry about your small penis also, fiona64.