Texas has thus far done an excellent job of denying women the right to an abortion –there are only eight abortion clinics left in the state, down from 41 – but they seem to have overlooked one option: a woman’s doctor’s office.
State stature, according to the Texas Tribune, does not require physicians’ offices, such as gynecology and obstetrics practices, to obtain an abortion license if they perform less than 50 procedures a year.
Doctors’ offices accounted for about 14 percent of all abortions in the state in 2002, but the numbers have decreased to less than one percent in 2012.
Even so, the loss of abortion clinics around the state could have negative consequences for women. Physicians may misreport on abortions, especially in the areas west of San Antonio and Fort Worth.
Worse yet, one in six woman seeking an abortion will have to travel 150 miles or more, not including the other obstacles such as waiting periods and increased costs, according to the Huffington Post.
Ultimately, Texas legislators should want abortion clinics to stay. At least this way, there’s a way to monitor how many abortions are performed yearly, and it gives women an option to choose what they’d like to do.
Unfortunately, Texas legislators also forget that the choice is not theirs to make.
There may be a glimmer of hope in the distance. The remaining abortion clinics are asking the Supreme Court to get involved in the face of the state restrictions that went into effect not too long ago.
The ruling, which required that all abortion clinics first obtain admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, forced 13 clinics to immediately close afterwards.
Though the ruling is said by lawmakers to be a move to regulate patient care and safety, the danger is very real that women will be forced to get “back-alley” abortions, critics say, according to CNN.
It’s ridiculous to think we’re still struggling to grasp the concept of women’s rights. Texas legislators need to brush up on their constitutional history. A woman’s choice to have an abortion is a constitutional right.