The Oklahoman

New Texas abortion law drives clients to OKC clinic

Provider: Appointmen­ts from out-of-state are up

- Hogan Gore

At least one Oklahoma abortion provider says it already has seen the impact of a new Texas law that went into effect Wednesday that severely restricts abortions in that state.

Trust Women, a clinic with locations in Oklahoma City and Wichita, Kansas, has reported seeing an increase in patients in the weeks leading up to the law’s enactment and are expecting to see growth in out-of-state clientele continue.

“Our clinics remain open and ready

to provide quality, compassion­ate abortion care to everyone who needs it, regardless of ability to pay,” Trust Women said in a release issued Wednesday.

Texas clinics are obligated to comply with the change that bans abortions after six weeks. Many women don't know they are pregnant until after six weeks.

Texas care providers are working with colleagues outside the state to coordinate the efficient use of funds and resources to continue providing abortions at clinics in places like Oklahoma and Kansas, according to Trust Women.

In 2019, out-of-state patients made up 8 percent of procedures conducted in Oklahoma with 2 percent coming from Texas, according to the Charlotte Lozier Institute.

Known as Senate Bill 8, the new Texas law prohibits nearly all abortions after six weeks of pregnancy and gives the opportunit­y for private citizens to take legal action against those thought to have performed or been involved with executing a procedure.

In Oklahoma, abortion laws will become stricter on Nov. 1 with the implementa­tion of several bills signed by Gov. Kevin Stitt.

Stitt signed House Bill 2441, which would prohibit an abortion if a fetal heartbeat can be detected. In some cases, a fetal heartbeat can be detected as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.

Under the bill, any doctor who performs an abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected could be charged with homicide.

Stitt also signed House Bill 1102 to revoke the medical license of doctors who perform abortions that are not medically necessary to prevent “irreversib­le physical impairment” or death of the mother.

The governor also signed House Bill 1904 to require that abortions be performed only by physicians who are board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology, which critics said will severely limit the number of qualified medical profession­als who can perform abortions.

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