Abor­tion clinic first to re­open since rul­ing

Austin American-Statesman - - COMMUNITY NEWS - By Julie Chang jchang@states­man.com Con­tact Julie Chang at 512-912-2565. Twit­ter: @juliechang1

Whole Wo­man’s Health, the abor­tion clinic that sued the state of Texas over 2013 abor­tion re­stric­tions and won at the U.S. Supreme Court last year, will re­open its Austin lo­ca­tion next month.

The clinic, in North­east Austin, had closed in 2013

after then-Gov. Rick Perry signed a law that re­quired abor­tions to be per­formed in hospi­tal-like sur­gi­cal cen­ters and that doc­tors have ad­mit­ting priv­i­leges in nearby hos- pitals.

Whole Wo­man’s Health chal­lenged those pro­vi­sions of the law on the grounds that they re­stricted ac­cess to the pro­ce­dure. Supreme Court jus­tices agreed in a rul­ing last June.

While the law was be­ing con­tested in court, more than half of the state’s 41

abor­tion clin­ics closed. “When you close down a clinic, you’re lay­ing off staff, you’re sell­ing equip­ment, you’re com­pletely get­ting rid of ev­ery­thing. What we’ve had to do is ba­si­cally start over,” said Fa­timah Gif­ford, vice pres­i­dent of com­mu­ni­ca­tions for Whole Wo­man’s Health.

Gif­ford said the Austin lo­ca­tion, which is the flag­ship for the clinic’s seven fa­cil­i­ties, will start serv­ing pa­tients in the next three to four weeks.

Whole Wo­man’s Health will be the first clinic to re­open since the rul­ing.

Planned Par­ent­hood and Austin Women’s Health Cen­ter also pro­vide abor­tions in Austin.

“When the po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated leg­is­la­ture forced the Whole Wo­man’s Health in District 4 to close, our com­mu­nity suf­fered a loss. With the re­open­ing of the Austin Whole Wo­man’s Health clinic, the res­i­dents of North Austin and be­yond will have ex­panded ac­cess to safe, le­gal abor­tion care right here in our com­mu­nity,” Austin Coun­cil Mem­ber Greg Casar said in a state­ment.

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