Ibis responds to the closure of two more clinics in Texas

March 2014

March 6, 2014 – Last night, Amy Hagstrom Miller, owner of Whole Woman’s Health, appeared on the Rachel Maddow Show to publicly state that as a direct result of the 2013 restrictions on abortion passed in Texas, Whole Woman’s would have to close two clinics located in the Rio Grande Valley.

Since HB2 was passed last summer, a total of 19 abortion clinics have closed their doors. As partner in the Texas Policy Evaluation Project (Tx-PEP), Ibis Reproductive Health, along with the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, have been researching the impact of these and previous restrictions passed by the Texas legislature since 2011. Below are excerpts from a statement co-investigator, Dr. Daniel Grossman wrote on behalf of Ibis, highlighting the damaging impact the clinic closures have had on women’s health throughout the state, and particularly in the Rio Grande Valley. 

  • [Women] who did eventually obtain an abortion were often delayed, sometimes by several weeks or a month. This is concerning because we know that abortion performed later in pregnancy is associated with more health risks compared to early abortion.  Women who did eventually obtain an abortion said it often cost them more in terms of travel and childcare costs, as well as time off work.
  • The most concerning public health impact of these clinic closures is the rise of unsafe or self-induced abortion—especially in the Valley. In our 2012 survey, we found that 7% of women seeking abortion care reported taking or doing something to try to end their current pregnancy before they came into the clinic.  This was even higher in border cities like McAllen, where about 12% of patients reported attempting self-induction.  To put this in perspective, a 2008 nationally representative survey of abortion patients found that less than 1% took misoprostol to try to end their current pregnancy before coming to the clinic.

You can read Dr. Grossman’s full statement here.

Litigation surrounding HB2 is ongoing. Ibis Reproductive Health firmly supports the right of all women to access to safe abortion, and will continue to document the effects of this and other Texas laws that impact that right.