Restrictions on Abortions in Texas
In Texas, the following restrictions on abortion were in effect as of May 1, 2014:
- A woman must receive state-directed counseling that includes information designed to discourage her from having an abortion and then wait 24 hours before the procedure is provided.
- The use of telemedicine for the performance of medication abortion is prohibited.
- The parent of a minor must consent and be notified before an abortion is provided.
- Public funding is available for abortion only in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest.
- A woman must undergo an ultrasound before obtaining an abortion; the provider must show and describe the image to the woman. If the woman lives within 100 miles of an abortion provider she must obtain the ultrasound at least 24 hours before the abortion.
Abortion Providers in Texas
*This article appears in the May 6, 2014 edition of NJ Daily.
When Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed a sweeping anti-abortion law in 2013, he did so knowing the measure faced an uncertain future. Indeed, the law is already winding its way through the legal system, and if its opponents have their way, Texas’s reproductive legal code will land in the hands of the Supreme Court.
But such a decision is likely a year or years a way, and back in the Lone Star State, the final judicial score won’t much matter.
The law has already had tremendous success in closing abortion clinics and restricting abortion access in Texas. And those successes appear all but certain to stick—with or without the Supreme Court’s approval of the law that created them.
There were more than 40 clinics that provided abortions in Texas in 2011. There are now 20 still open, and after the law’s last steps of implementation are taken in September, all but six are expected to close. Most of the closed clinics will never reopen, their operators say.
Few businesses could survive a years-long hibernation, and that’s all the more true for clinics, providers say. The added difficulty of finding qualified doctors, getting new licences, and navigating state health department regulations is a hurdle higher than most closed clinics are likely to clear—especially in a state where a sizable portion of the public is vehemently opposed to abortion and unwilling to aid it in any way.