Whole Woman's Health to close clinics in Texas following near-total abortion bans
Whole Woman's Health, one of the leading abortion providers in Texas, announced Wednesday that it is closing down its four locations due to the near-total bans that have been enacted in the state.
Driving the news: Last week, the Texas Supreme Court blocked an order allowing clinics to provide abortions by letting the state's 1925 pre-Roe ban — which makes performing the procedure punishable by 10 years in prison — be civilly enforced.
- A lower court had temporarily blocked the ban, which Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton had said was in effect following the Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v. Wade, while the state's trigger ban is yet to become active.
State of play: Whole Woman's Health said it is "packing up" its Texas clinics and moving to New Mexico, a neighboring state that has strong abortion protections even though it has not codified access.
- The four clinics had not been offering abortion services since June 24, following the Supreme Court's decision.
- Whole Woman's Health has been in Texas since 2003, when it opened its first clinic in the city of Austin.
Our thought bubble: Texas is one of the Southern states with the highest number of clinics, according to a tracker from Fund Texas Choice. However, as the state continues to restrict and ban abortion care, the number of providers could drastically decrease.
What they're saying: "While we continue to do everything in our power to fight for abortion rights and access, Texas has banned abortion entirely throughout the state in response to the fall of Roe," Whole Woman's Health said.
- "Abortion access in the South will only get worse as the damage done by this awful ruling continues to compound, and more conservative states pass abortion bans. We are stepping up to ensure everyone has a trusted independent abortion provider as nearby as legally possible."
- Whole Woman's Health is asking the general public for financial support to help with the move and "buy and renovate a building, relocate and hire staff, and set up licenses and certifications in New Mexico."
- Moving to New Mexico "will allow us to provide first- and second-trimester abortions to people from Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona and elsewhere in the South where safe, legal abortion care is restricted."