House Bill 2 to close many abortion clinics
The Texas Senate finally gave in and passed one of the strictest anti-abortion bills in the U.S. on Friday. The bill is said to ban abortions after the first 20 weeks of pregnancy and uphold abortion clinics to the same standards as an ambulatory surgical center.
This would cause many clinics to close their doors. The clinics that meet the strict requirements of the bill are only in major cities, although other clinics have the opportunity to continue performing abortions if they meet those standards.
“This is very much a class issue, for the moment at least,” said Elizabeth Gregory, the director of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at UH.
“People without the resources to go to one of the five remaining clinics, or out-of-state, will largely be poor women — forced to either bear children they don’t want or can’t afford, or to attempt to abort them themselves.”
According to The New York Times, Gov. Rick Perry applauded lawmakers for passing the bill.
“Today the Texas Legislature took its final step in our historic effort to protect life,” Perry said.
Unfortunately, the means of lessening the number of places in which women can get abortions may not constitute the ends of protecting life.
Cutting off access to abortion clinics around the state will not change the fact that some women will still seek abortions. Women who cannot travel may be among those who rely on lesser-regulated abortion methods, which may wreak havoc on a woman’s health.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, an organization that researches sexual and reproductive health, 47,000 deaths each year can be attributed to unsafe abortion practices.
Women seeking abortions should have the option of going to a near-by clinic that can safely address their needs.
According to Gregory, the new regulations on clinics could make the amount of women seeking abortions after the 20-week mark rise significantly.
“Currently only 1.4 percent of abortions occur after week 20 – cutting the option to abort between 20 and 24 weeks largely affects people with problem pregnancies or people who didn’t know they were pregnant or were afraid to tell someone,” Gregory said.
The bill could negatively impact women just learning that they’re pregnant in their 20th week.
The possibly fewer clinics that offer abortions could lead to women being wait listed. As other clinics close, clientele will likely increase for those that remain open.
The question as to whether women who are wait listed past the 20-week mark will still be able to undergo the procedure hasn’t been answered.
Right across from UH is a Planned Parenthood facility, which also offers services such as pelvic exams and pregnancy counseling.
House Bill 2 may intend to make stricter regulations on clinics that offer abortions, but it may have a wider impact. It has the capability of becoming a threat to women’s health. What the bill is doing is aborting abortion clinics and disregarding Roe v. Wade.
Callie Parrish is a mathematics and art senior and can be reached at [email protected]