Abortion Bill Could End All West Texas Abortions 8/9/13
CBS 7 News
July 9, 2013
The abortion debate is heating up as legislators in Austin debate a bill that could mean the end for abortion right here in West Texas.
This picture of a pregnancy at 20 weeks is one of the key points of House Bill 2. It prohibits abortion beyond 20 weeks.
“It’s a miniature baby, it looks like a baby, has all the features,” said Martha Schwartz, a Midland Pro-Life Supporter. “It does feel pain.”
Pro-life groups descended on the Planned Parenthood clinic in midland today in support of the changes--it's the only surgical abortion clinic in the basin.
"Medical decisions should be left to doctors and their patients, these decisions should not be left in the hands of lawmakers," said Patricia Rodriguez on behalf of Planned Parenthood South Texas, which operates the Midland Clinic.
The bill also enacts new restrictions on the 36 Texas clinics that perform abortions, requiring them to meet the standards of an ambulatory surgical center like this one pictured. Legislators say only 5 abortion clinics meet those requirements.
"This is about the quality of care,” said Dr. Richard Bartlett. “It’s not about restricting care or promoting care, it’s about the quality of care."
Neither of the two Planned Parenthood clinics that perform abortions in our area meets the requirements. Officials refused to allow our CBS 7 cameras inside the operating room, but a spokesperson says they are considering the upgrade -- although it would be very expensive.
"We're having discussions with our operating staff in making sure we meet the requirements of the bill,” said Rodriguez.
The bill also requires doctors who perform abortions to be within 30 miles of a hospital, potentially limiting clinics in rural areas. Both of the clinics in our area are within that range
Now this may not be the end for Planned Parenthood in our area--they say only 10 percent of all their patients are seen for abortions.