Abortion clinic first to reopen since ruling
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.