Last year, Texas legislators passed a bill requiring physicians to secure admitting privileges at local hospitals before performing abortions — something difficult to get when physicians are not hospital staff. Abortion provider Whole Woman’s Health faced trouble meeting the new requirement and on Thursday shut down two of its clinics.
In a statement on Facebook, the organization wrote, “We are devastated to announce that we’re closing our clinics in McAllen and Beaumont this week. After serving women in these communities for over 10 years, Texas politicians have forced us to shut our doors.”
The new rules also bar performing abortions 20 weeks after conception and, starting in September, will require abortion facilities to meet surgery standards. Out of the 24 abortion clinics open in Texas today, only six meet those criteria.
Whole Woman’s Health and other Texas abortion providers have challenged the new restrictions in court. Texas’ 5th Circuit Court of Appeals heard the case in January but made no decision. The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a request to weigh in.
In the last two years, more states have passed sweeping abortion restrictions than in the previous 10 years. Since 2011, states have passed more than 200 laws restricting access to abortions.
Are the new abortion laws about women’s safety or reducing access?
Will pressure from the states discourage physicians from performing abortions?
Are state laws making Roe v. Wade obsolete?
We consulted a panel of experts for the Inside Story.
This panel was assembled for the broadcast of “Inside Story.”
For future hard-hitting conversations, find Al Jazeera America on your TV.