As Clinics Close, More Women Are Left Without Choices
A reproductive health clinic in Rockford, Illinois, that serves as the only abortion provider in its area, has been closed indefinitely after the Illinois Department of Public Health suspended its license last week, citing violation of ambulatory surgery treatment center rules. Among the violations racked up against the clinic: the providers did not have surgical practice privileges with an area hospital, and lack of a registered nurse in the operating room.
The licensing requirements, TRAP laws, are of course part of the additional burdens put specifically on abortion providers in order to force them out of business, regulation overhauls that we’ve seen in Kansas and Virginia, too.† But they have become highly effective in shutting off options for women seeking to terminate pregnancies simply by making the process too burdensome to have done before its too late.
This sounds much like the situation in Arizona, where the new law stating abortion pills can only be given out by medical doctors has forced numerous clinics to stop offering the procedure all together.† The Tuscon Sentinel reports, “Beth Otterstein, a nurse practitioner at Planned Parenthood Arizonaís clinic in Flagstaff, says patients sometimes break down and cry when they hear the news: If they want abortions, they now have to travel to Phoenix for a 15-minute consultation with a doctor and then stay overnight to have the procedure. Itís an expense that some canít afford, and no other facility in the area provides abortions.”
Is Illinois really shutting down the clinic due to women’s health being put in danger?† After all, this is the same state that tried to put their TRAP regulations through the agricultural committee rather than the public health committee to ensure that the measures passed.† Or is the real intent to simply make abortion legal in name only, but accessible only for those with the means and resources to obtain it?
Photo credit: wikimedia commons