Healthcare

Planned Parenthood Announces Plans to Close Three Texas Clinics, Blames the Legislature

It hasn't even been 24 hours since Governor Rick Perry signed House Bill 2, the infamous abortion clinic-killing bill, into law, and three Planned Parenthood clinics are already making plans to shut their doors.

The Huffington Post reports that Planned Parenthood clinics in Bryan, Huntsville and Lufkin will close down this August.

This isn't just about the recent abortion bill. Officials with Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast placed much of the blame on the legislature's massive cuts to the Women's Health Program in 2011.

"Deplorably, 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," Melaney A. Linton, the chapter's president, announced in a statement.

Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, which covers the Dallas area, says it has no immediate plans to close clinics. At least not yet.

"That's a question we're not in a position to answer right now because we don't have it," spokeswoman Kelly Hart tells Unfair Park. "We've made no decisions at this point."

Regardless, the future is grim for Dallas-Fort Worth's six abortion clinics. CBS 11 talked with officials at the Routh Street Women's Clinic, which sees 4,000 patients per year, who say they can't afford the $3 million in upgrades required under the new rules passed by the legislature and will have to close.

Dallas' Southwestern Women's Surgery Center will not. It's the only abortion provider in the city that qualifies as an ambulatory surgery center as required by the new law. The clinic's administrator predicts that every other abortion provider in Dallas will be forced to close.

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Amy Martyn
Contact: Amy Martyn