Believe it or Not, Texas Finds Another Way To Try and Ban Abortions

Under Gov. Rick Perry’s direction, Texas Republicans have done a pretty outstanding job making it almost impossible for low income women in their state to access affordable reproductive health care. First they shut down the state’s popular and effective Women’s Health Program, kicking over 100,000 women off their insurance all as a way to defund Planned Parenthood. Now they’ve got the state’s remaining clinics in their sights.

Senate Bill 537 is a TRAP bill that would only allow abortions in facilities that state regulators say qualify as an ambulatory surgical center, places with operating rooms for minor surgeries. The bill would also require that women could only take an abortion-inducing medication in the same facility. “This bill is part of Governor Rick Perry’s plan to end safe, legal abortion in Texas—and not about protecting women’s health or safety,” said Carla Holeva, CEO of Planned Parenthood of West Texas.

“Proponents of this bill are not really concerned about women’s health. This bill places onerous requirements on health centers, requirements that do nothing to improve the health or safety of women,” said Holeva. “Our primary concern is for the women of Texas. Senate Bill 537 is a back door abortion ban, plain and simple. If passed, this bill would effectively end access to a safe and legal medical procedure in this state, which is harmful for women’s health.”

Like all TRAP requirements, the requirements of SB 537 are excessive and medically unnecessary, and will be difficult, if not impossible, for health centers to meet. The bill requires all health centers that provide safe and legal abortions to become licensed Ambulatory Surgical Centers (ASCs). Among the 117 pages of regulations required of Ambulatory Surgical Centers in Texas are surgical operating rooms of at least 240 square feet, specific requirements for the flooring and outfitting of janitors closets, and ventilation systems required for a sterile operating room, among many other onerous requirements that are excessive for procedures that, like abortion, can be safely performed in a health center setting.

Texas is a BIG state, and getting to a clinic is not always easy for a lot of women. Care in the state is already hardest to come by in rural areas, and if passed, this “Back Door Abortion Ban” would result in the closure of multiple health centers outside of a few major cities and would have a devastating impact on women living in most areas of Texas. Women’s health advocates fear that passage of the bill will compound Texas women’s health crisis.

“After shredding the preventive health care safety net for low-income and uninsured women, it’s outrageous that politicians are once again threatening Texas women’s access to a safe and legal medical procedure,” said Holeva. “Texans are counting on our legislators to show real leadership by defeating this latest attack on women’s health and focusing on restoring women’s access to lifesaving breast and cervical cancer screenings, birth control, and other basic, preventive health care by reinstating the Medicaid Women’s Health Program and restoring funding to the state’s family planning program.”

Excessive regulations are already in place in Texas, far exceeding what is necessary to uphold patient health and safety at health centers that provide safe, legal abortion. Health centers providing abortion must have a licensed physician and nurse on staff and must follow rigorous reporting requirements of the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) for each and every abortion procedure.

Closing clinics that provide reproductive health care to women is the only goal of these legislators. Out of the 38 clinics in the state only 5 would meet these new requirements, a fact the bill’s sponsor readily acknowledges.

At least they’re being honest about their motives, I suppose.


Related Stories:

Developing: 5th Circuit Stays Order Reinstating Planned Parenthood Funds

Texas Can’t Strip Planned Parenthood Of Funding, Judge Rules

Texas AG Makes Reckless Comparison Between Planned Parenthood, Terrorists


Photo from Franco Folini via flickr.


Brian F.
Brian F3 years ago

If Rick Perry had any genuine concern for women he would realize that in cases of rape, incest,or if the womens life is in danger women need abortions, and many women need help trying to afford it. What a heartless cruel scumbag and liar Rick Perry is. All Rick Perry cares about is rich people like himself who are puppets of corporate America.

Tricia Hamilton
Tricia Hamilton3 years ago

Texas has trapped animals on canned hunts and they are banning abortions? They are a sick country with sick people who live there.

Rainbow W.
.3 years ago

Pat, as far as defamation goes, I think PP, women and children have a very good cause against people like you. Spreading propaganda about abortion and the like.

Furthermore, I don’t think you would want a lawsuit. Imagine if my counsel, Kevin, subpoenaed your hard drive. Not only would that kill your claim, but it would put you in jail.

Remember, I reported this. An investigation can take a while. I’m patient.

Thanks, Kevin for educating trolls.

David King
David King3 years ago


I wish I could stay and play... BUT it's time to go "make the donuts"!

Have a great day!

Kevin Brown
Kevin Brown3 years ago

Oohh, Mrs. Carmody is now threatening lawsuits, well as Rainbow's legal counsel, I would like to point out that Rainbow was stating an opinion based upon your prior posts and conduct. Since opinions are not actionable in defamation suits, I believe my client is well within their rights to state a personal opinion.

Kevin Brown
Kevin Brown3 years ago

No one cares about your interpretation of "evil," Mrs. Carmody.

Pat Patton
Pat Patton3 years ago


I think it'd be wise for you to provide evidence for calling me a pedophile or else retract your statement. Those are some pretty serious charges and ones I don't take lightly.

I'll provide you with a link as to why you best provide the evidence or else retract it:

Pat Patton
Pat Patton3 years ago

Thank you for admitting that you are OPPOSED to Suba's position on the idea that it should be legal for a doctor to pull a baby out of a mothers uterus....lay the baby on the table. Take a pair of scissors. Insert it into the back neck of the helpless child. Then cut it's spinal cord and kill it on the spot. So long as he gives it enough anesthesia. Yes, thank you for admitting you oppose such an atrocity.

Yet it still makes you a hypocrite because if the Doctor performs the same procedure 10 seconds earlier while the child is still in the womb the you hail it as his RIGHT.

This too is atrocity and one that cannot stand because it is rooted in evil. And nothing that is rooted in evil has a solid foundation. It is always standing on sand. And I mean ALWAYS.

Pat Patton
Pat Patton3 years ago

Rainbow W.,

It's laughable to hear you lecture about not coming back with an argument. Yes, truly laughable.

Rainbow asked, "And you think you are? Last I checked zygotes can’t speak, they have no mouth. Children however do. And most who have been through horrors don’t want anyone else to either."

Pat answers: I am one of many voices for them. Yes, I certainly am. I speak out for your child that you killed. You killed your own child yet you'd condemn a man for killing a baby seal.

Then in hypocrisy you endorse the idea that a Doctor should be able to take a pair of scissors and cut the spinal cord of a human being on a table and watch him die. With nobody there to defend him. Yes, that is the EVIL that you endorse.

Rainbow W.
.3 years ago

Kevin, I wouldn’t believe anything pat told us if his tongue came notarized. Notice how trolls when they can’t argue logically come back with, “I went through that but I’m a better person for it” crap.

“You are not their voice!”

And you think you are? Last I checked zygotes can’t speak, they have no mouth. Children however do. And most who have been through horrors don’t want anyone else to either.