Planned Parenthood closing three Texas clinics, including Abby Johnson’s former clinic
BRYAN, TX, July 18, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) - On the same day as Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed the state's new late-term abortion ban into law, Planned Parenthood has announced that they are closing three more clinics in the state, one of which performs abortions.
In a press release, Planned Parenthood blamed the closures on funding cuts that Republican lawmakers passed in 2011. Those funding cuts have already led to the closure of numerous Planned Parenthood clinics across the state.
However, one of the three clinics, the Bryan clinic, is also subject to the requirements of the new abortion law. Abortion advocates have said that the law could close as many as 37 of the state's abortion facilities.
The law prohibits abortions past 20 weeks based upon scientific evidence that unborn babies can feel pain by that point. It also requires that abortion facilities meet the same safety standards as ambulatory surgical centers and requires abortionists to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.
Only five abortionists' offices in Texas currently meet the requirements of the law, while the rest will be required to make costly upgrades to bring their facilities up to par. The Bryan Planned Parenthood would have been one of those.
“In recent years, Texas politicians have created an increasingly hostile environment for providers of reproductive health care in underserved communities," said Melaney A. Linton, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, in a statement today.
“The combined impact of years of budget cuts to women’s health care services and the dismantling of the successful Women’s Health Program will take affordable, preventive health care options away from women in Bryan, Lufkin and Huntsville — just as these policies have taken health care away from an estimated 130,000 others — when Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast is forced to close these family planning health centers at the end of August," Linton added.
Pro-life leader Abby Johnson once worked as director of the Bryan facility before her conversion to the pro-life cause, which came after she witnessed an ultrasound-guided abortion.
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Johnson had told LifeSiteNews.com last week that she expected her clinic to close in the wake of the Texas law. “I know that they’re probably just holding on by a very thin thread," she said. "We’re hoping that this will be the final straw for them once this bill gets passed.”
Johnson's clinic had been forced to stop performing surgical abortions in the wake of the state's ultrasound law, enacted last year, which requires an abortionist to meet twice with abortion-bound women, instead of just once. The clinic was unable to find an abortionist who was available for the two visits.
Johnson said a provision in the new law, requiring abortionists to be present throughout the medical abortion procedure, would likewise force the clinic to get out of the medical abortion business, likely precipitating a closure. Today's news proves her prediction correct.
Planned Parenthood informed its employees of the closures earlier today.