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a u s t
i n c h r o n
i c
l e
. c om
JULY 25, 2014
T H E A U S T I N C H R O N I C L E
23
and
involved with both Texas cases told the
Chronicle
. “It’s sad to say, now we do know
it does shut down clinics, and we have
heard increased reports of attempted self-
induction in the Rio Grande Valley, for
example. We’ve seen the impact – it’s not
speculative anymore. There are real hard-
ships that the regulations have imposed.
And in this case, the effects are going to be
even more dramatic because it will drop the
number of clinics to somewhere below 10.”
The Texas abortion restriction law, HB 2,
appears to have served as a model for simi-
larly severe laws currently sweeping the
South – but it’s especially egregious due to
this state’s vast geographic area and popu-
lation, says Bhandari. “For Texas to pass a
law like this with such a devastating impact
on such a huge number of women is really
disturbing, so it’s really important to fight
back in a place like Texas, because it affects
so many women’s lives.”
In the event the plaintiffs do not prevail,
clinic leaders, patients, and reproductive
rights activists must work within a deci-
mated health care network in which abor-
tion itself may not be explicitly outlawed –
but reliable access will pose such a substan-
tial and unprecedented hurdle for the
majority of the population it will have the
effect, for most Texas women, of abortion
once again being illegal.
“We are returning to this pre-
Roe
environ-
ment, where women are self-inducing and
traveling over the border. A black market is
going to emerge because the need is still
there,” predicts Miller. “My biggest concern
is wondering what women are going to do.
This law didn’t do anything to prevent the
need for abortion, it just cut off women’s
access to safe, trained providers. The same
number of women in Texas are going to face
unplanned pregnancy, but now without a
safe, professional option to turn to.
“I fear that we’re not only going to face a
public health crisis, but the decimating of a
system for providing safe care that is next
to impossible to rebuild.”
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