It was reported on Wednesday that Planned Parenthood had decided to close three women’s health clinics in Texas, just as Gov. Rick Perry signed new abortion restrictions into law.
Sources told The Huffington Post’s Laura Bassett that Planned Parenthood had informed employees in Bryan, Huntsville and Lufkin that the clinics there would be shutting down.
Only one of those clinics provided abortion services.
The announcement came the same day that Perry signed a law banning abortion in Texas after 20 weeks. The law requires abortion clinics to become licensed as ambulatory surgical centers, but only five of the 42 clinics in the state currently meet that requirement.
Earlier this year, the federal government halted funding to the Texas Medicaid Women’s Health Program after Perry signed a bill cutting off funds from clinics affiliated with abortion providers.
“In recent years, Texas politicians have created an increasingly hostile environment for providers of reproductive health care in underserved communities,” Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast President and CEO Melaney A. Linton said in a statement, according to The Huffington Post. “Texans with little or no access to health care services have been deeply affected by state budget cuts to programs provided by Planned Parenthood health centers and dozens of others that provided lifesaving cancer screenings, well-woman exams and birth control.”
“The combined impact of years of budget cuts to women’s health care services and the dismantling of the successful Women’s Health Program will take affordable, preventive health care options away from women in Bryan, Lufkin and Huntsville — just as these policies have taken health care away from an estimated 130,000 others — when Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast is forced to close these family planning health centers at the end of August,” she added.
“It is a travesty that Texas politicians are stripping healthcare from women across the state, harming lives and unraveling the health care safety net that has taken decades to build.”
The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas and other groups are considering a lawsuit to challenge the new abortion restrictions.
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