6 Reasons Why the New Abortion Law in Texas Helps Women

Say What!? 30

On Friday, a bunch of abortion advocates filed suit in Texas for portions of the now infamous House Bill 2, the extensive pro-life bill that Governor Rick Perry signed into law last July. Planned Parenthood, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and the American Civil Liberties Union have joined forces on behalf of more than a dozen abortion providers to fight provisions that make abortions safer for women.

I know -- it doesn’t make any sense to me either. It makes me wonder what the true motivation of these organizations is when they’re stirring public outrage by saying that HB2 will restrict women’s access to health care, or mess with their reproductive rights or whatever.

This new law does not restrict abortion for abortion’s sake. It’s funny, because they’re not even challenging the only part of the bill that actually does restrict abortion -- those done after 20 weeks. So they’re not fighting the part that says you can’t have an abortion (at a certain point in your pregnancy), but they are fighting the parts that protect women from getting ‘back alley’ abortions.

Well ok then.

Don’t believe me? Have no fear, I’ve read the bill for you, and broken down exactly how the “restrictions” that these pro-abortion groups are fighting actually help women.

  1. It requires that an actual physician be present at the time of the abortion or the administration of abortion drugs. One that provides obstetrical or gynecological services. In other words, mean old Rick Perry would like to make sure that women in his state that chose to have abortions get them from trained and licensed doctors.
  2. Said physician must have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic in which the abortion was performed. This is in case something goes wrong, and the woman needs emergency care. Minutes can make the difference between life and death; how many do we want to waste with transportation, or the abortionist having to debrief a new doctor not familiar with the patient?
  3. The woman obtaining the abortion must be provided with a telephone number that she can call for 24-hour assistance if complications arise.
  4. She must also be provided with the telephone number of the closest hospital where her doctor has admitting privileges. Phone numbers are apparently really threatening to women’s rights.
  5. If the physician determines that an abortion is necessary to save the life or “major bodily function” of the mother, all of these restrictions are waived.
  6. In fact, any woman that needs an abortion at any point during her pregnancy can still legally obtain one in Texas. Directly from the law itself: “This act does not apply to abortions that are necessary to avert the death or substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman or abortions that are performed on unborn children with severe fetal abnormalities.”

Which means that it’s still perfectly legal in Texas to abort your 5-month-old fetus with Down syndrome. Just make sure mom has a phone number to call in case she starts hemorrhaging or something.

Do you think this new law protects or exploits women?


Image via Jack/Flickr


abortion, discrimination, feminism, health care, human rights, in the news, law, media, politics, women's issues


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nonmember avatar Sam

Maybe someone who isn't Pro-Life or a conservative should have written this article. Just saying.

Brain... BrainyMommy

It's Texas. Anyone who acts surprised by this law has been asleep for the past 30 years. At some point you have to wake up, realize the reality of your situation, and move if you don't agree with the political climate you find yourself living in. 

nonmember avatar Tina

Please stop using the term"abortionist," or "pro-abortion." Doctors that perform abortions are doctors, they can and do perform other tasks and procedures, and absolutely no one is pro-abortion. The problem is that abortions are already safe, in fact, they're safer than a full term vaginal delivery. What these bills so is make it more difficult for women to obtain safe, legal abortions. Why would a doctor ever need admiring privileges? A person can always receive immediate medical care during an emergency regardless of avoiding privileges. Unfortunately, now it's become nearly impossible for any of these doctors to receive privileges anyway, even though you have to have it, which is exactly the point of this bill. There's also absolutely no reason that you need a physician to administer the pills for a medicated abortion. It's a two day ordeal, and your only in a clinic the first day, with the first medication you take. The actual pill that causes the abortion is taken at home the next day. This mandate makes it significantly more difficult for poor women to seek medicated abortions because in many states Planned Parenthood's are few and far between. So by requiring a physician means that these poor women now have to travel two days instead of one, meaning missed work, meaning spending more money, and possibly having to find childcare for multiple days. Meaning more money that they already don't have needing to be spent.

nonmember avatar blue

These laws are completely common sense. I find it horrifying that these requirements aren't just standard.

nonmember avatar Nikki

This is in stark contrast to CA which recently loosened the required training for those who provide abortions. All I can think is that if it were any other procedure women would be rioting, but for some reason when it comes to abortion we've lost all common sense. Admiting privilages mean that the doctor can treat the patient in the hospital, without them the doctor must inform another of what procedures have occured and which medicines have been given. As far as the abortion pill, it has been increasingly used "off book" given in improper doses and with no follow up which is completely contradictory to what the fda approved. The fda was following the model that was set up in France and had many years of sucess with few problems, that is not the case here.

As far as the safety aspect of it: if my friend who sadly experienced a miscarriage had to have her dnc in a hospital setting for her safety than why shouldn't a woman getting an abortion recieve the same caution and respect?

nonmember avatar Ashley Aguilar

ACOG aka American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology aka the governing body of women's health in the country does not endorse this bill. Says that it is unnecessary and over reaching. Will close all but 5 clinics in Texas. Many clinics, especially in small towns, are not even located 30 miles from a hospital. Yes, republicans want to make it safer for women to have abortions. I'm sure.

PinkB... PinkButterfly66

The doctor who performs the abortion DOES NOT need admitting privileges at a hospital in case of complications.  The hospital is already staffed with doctors more than capable of handling any complication or emergency.


prplecat prplecat

1. Only 5 of Texas' forty-two clinics will meet these standards.  The rest will likely have to close.  Do you have ANY idea how big Texas is?  A woman might have to travel for several hours to a clinic.

2.  The clinics that will be forced to close have good safety records.  They don't perform back alley abortions.

3.  Any emergencies resulting from complications of an abortion will likely be seen in an ER, by an ER physician.  If there is not a life=threatening emergency, the woman would be able to go back to the clinic.

4.  The ambulatory surgical centers that will be able to perform abortions are a lot more expensive than other clinics, thereby keeping some women from being able to afford them.

5.  Governor Perry's sister, Milla Perry Jones, is a lobbyist for a group that runs ambulatory surgical centers which are co-owned by doctors.  And this is the REAL reason that the law has been passed.

Ms. Erikson, you are delusional if you think that this has anything at all to do with protecting women.  It's just Texas politics as usual.  And it IS an attack on women's health, becuse most of these clinics provide many more health services than just abortions.

belon... belongs2Jesus

yes purple protecting innocent babies are an attack on women's health after all women are only healthy if they are making other's pay for them to kill their babies. 



miche... micheledo

Funny how when that doctor was on trial for the horrible conditions at the abortion clinic and the murder of babies, everyone was so upset and said that clinics need to be regulated and safe.  Now a state is trying to make them safer and people don't want that.

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