by Ben Johnson
MCALLEN, TX, March 6, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Three abortion facilities have announced they will close their doors thanks to the more stringent health and safety regulations enacted by Texas House Bill 2. Pro-life groups say it is an advance for women's health, but abortion advocates say the closure is “a tragedy.”
Yet the two sides of the contentious abortion debate agree on one thing: more closures are on the way.
In 2011, the state had 44 abortion facilities. By September, when new state requirements that abortion facilities meet the same health standards as other ambulatory surgical centers, that number could plummet to just six.
Two offices of Whole Women's Health in McAllen and Beaumont have already stopped performing abortions, but WWH owner Amy Hagstrom Miller announced that the buildings would be shuttered. Bringing them up to code would cost her $6 million.
“I had to come to terms with the fact that those clinics had no future,” she said.
A third abortion office, Reproductive Services of Harlingen run by Lester Minto, will close because he lacks admitting privileges. That provision of the law is already in effect.
NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue called the closure announcements “a tragedy for women in Texas.” She added that “anti-choice politicians” are using “deceitful back-door tactics” and “endangering the lives of the state’s most vulnerable women” by demanding tighter health regulations.
"Two more abortion clinics closing in Texas thanks to H.B. 2!” Abby Johnson, who is based in Texas, said. “Whole Women's Health in McAllen and Beaumont are being shut down permanently! Pro-life legislation works!"
"They are closing their facilities in McAllen and Beaumont because their abortionists cannot get admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles,” Texas Alliance for Life said. “H.B. 2 is saving lives in Texas!"
Since H.B. 2 – the law Wendy Davis filibustered to stop – took effect, nine abortion facilities have closed in the Lone Star State.
Melissa Conway of Texas Right to Life said, “It is clear Texans are no longer willing to accept the predatory practices of abortion providers who fail to place the value of a woman's health and safety or the life of a pre-born Texan in greater importance than their own personal financial gain.”