Texas, the second most populous state in the country, loses all but seven abortion clinics


Yesterday, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the final provision in Texas’s sweeping anti-choice restrictions–which requires all abortion clinics to make expensive and unnecessary upgrades to be ambulatory surgical centers–is allowed to take effect. We’ve already watched Texas lose about half of the 41 clinics it had just a year and a half ago, which has already prevented some Texans from getting the abortions they need; this ruling will close 13 more. Effective immediately, the second most populous state in the nation will have only seven abortion clinics. 

That’s seven clinics for a state with over 26 million people and nearly 6 million women of reproductive age.

That’s seven clinics to serve the nearly 75,000 Texans who seek abortions annually in recent years.

That’s seven clinics for a state that’s 773 miles by 790 miles, in which about one-third of residents live outside a major metropolitan area.

That’s seven clinics compared to over one hundred crisis pregnancy centers.

That seven clinics to which one million Texans will have to travel 300 miles or more roundtrip if they want an abortion.

But, according to the court, that is somehow not an “undue burden” because not a sufficiently “large fraction” of people are affected. And if you happen to be part of the large-but-apparently-not-large-enough fraction? Tough luck–constitutionally protected rights are apparently for other people.

If you’re in the Austin area, you can join a walk-out at the state capitol today at noon. We’ll be there in spirit.

Maya DusenberyMaya Dusenbery is an Executive Director of Feministing.

St. Paul, MN

Maya Dusenbery is executive director in charge of editorial at Feministing. She is the author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick (HarperOne, March 2018). She has been a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard magazine. Her work has appeared in publications like Cosmopolitan.com, TheAtlantic.com, Bitch Magazine, as well as the anthology The Feminist Utopia Project. Before become a full-time journalist, she worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health. A Minnesota native, she received her B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. After living in Brooklyn, Oakland, and Atlanta, she is currently based in the Twin Cities.

Maya Dusenbery is an executive director of Feministing and author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm on sexism in medicine.

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