North Texas Daily

New abortion law affects denton

New abortion law affects denton

New abortion law affects denton
July 22
16:07 2013

Audra Stamp / Staff Writer

Governor Rick Perry signed bills outlining new abortion restrictions last Thursday, and causing many clinics to close their doors while leaving only a handful to perform the procedure. Denton County currently has no abortion clinics, but the new law will shut down, either temporarily or permanently, many of the clinics in the DFW and surrounding areas.

The new restrictions ban abortions after 20 weeks, limit where and when women can take abortion-inducing pills and that all abortions will take place in surgical centers.

Many pro-abortion rights supporters believe the surgical center restriction is unnecessary for the procedure and could actually cause harm to the woman in need due to lack of resources.

“The abortion procedure takes about five to 10 minutes, it’s a very simple procedure, very low risk,” Fatimah Gifford, the director of public relations at Whole Woman’s Health said. “Using a surgical center, it’s mainly built for a very complex incision surgery, so this doesn’t match up with the simplicity of an abortion procedure. It’s completely unnecessary.”

Texas currently has 42 operating abortion clinics, but after the law is put in place, only six will be up to standards and are all east of Interstate 35, Gifford said. The six are located in Austin, Fort Worth, Dallas, two in Easton and the Whole Woman’s Health clinic, in San Antonio.

The Whole Woman’s Health clinics have six locations currently, but due to the new restrictions will have to close five, including its Fort Worth branch, Gifford said.

Gifford said it is not cost effective to attempt to met restrictions because each location would need to be torn down and rebuilt, costing about $3 million each. The 117 pages of the Targeted Restrictions of Abortion Providers (TRAP) call for many renovations to clinics in order to be legal. The facilities would need operating rooms to be at least 240 square feet, there would be specific outfits for janitors and new flooring requirements, according to Planned Parenthood.

The Southwestern Women’s Surgery Center is currently the only legal abortion clinic in Dallas with its ambulatory surgical center. As of now, this is one of the closest legal clinics to Denton for those in need of help.

Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America released a statement saying, “What happed here tonight is going to fast-forward change in Texas in the long-run, but unfortunately a lot of women will suffer in the process.”

The Planned Parenthood clinic in Denton would not comment further.

Planned Parenthood announced last Wednesday that its Bryan, Huntsville and Lufkin locations would be closing. Despite the closings, Planned Parenthood’s Texas advocates have made more than 34,000 calls to their state legislatures in the last few weeks in opposition according to Planned Parenthood.

Although Denton does not have any clinics, Woman-to-Woman Pregnancy Resource on Locust Street is open for consultations. It hosts about 1,000 women a year, the center will operate off of the fewer number of abortion clinics for those in need of the procedure.

“We want her (patient) to make a decision. This is for her,” said Ramona Davis, executive director of Woman to Woman. “We are very respectful of her and her decision regardless of the decision. We don’t judge.”

Photos from rally on July 1, 2013 by William A. Darnell / Senior Staff writer

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