Though the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed Texas abortion providers a major victory by striking down the state’s most stringent abortion restrictions, House Bill 2 leaves behind a trail of shuttered clinics.
There were more than 40 abortion clinics open in Texas when lawmakers began pushing for the new restrictions. One measure would’ve required them to meet hospital-like standards — including minimum sizes for rooms and doorways, pipelines for anesthesia and other modifications. Another forced abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their clinic.
When the restrictions became law, clinics that couldn’t meet those terms began closing their doors. By the time the high court agreed to take up the case, the number of abortion clinics in Texas had halved to 19. And there were no clinics open anywhere between San Antonio and El Paso.
Had the Supreme Court upheld the restrictions, Texas would have been left with as few as 10 abortion clinics — all in major metropolitan areas — to serve the state’s 5.4 million women of reproductive age.
Though the high court agreed with Texas abortion providers that the restrictions were to blame for the closures, it’s unlikely Texas’ abortion clinics will ever return to pre-HB 2 levels.
Here’s a look at the law’s impact on the state of abortion access in Texas: