Back when Texas first introduced its more stringent abortion laws — when State Senator Wendy Davis made her heroic stand at the capital — the party line was that the state needed the new restrictions in order to protect women's health.
And, a lot of us gave that claim a skeptical glance — lots of things have been done in the name of "health" that were really just about politics. Now, new info out from the Texas Tribune proves what we might have suspected, namely, that these measures were never really about protecting women.
The new restrictive laws require that all abortion clinics meet the more strict standards of ambulatory surgical centers and also that all abortion-providing clinics have admitting privileges at local hospitals. But, was there a demonstrated need for change, based on regulatory violations or clear dangers to women's health or were these changes only meant to add unnecessary red tape and expense to abortion providers?
Turns out, it's the latter. The Texas Tribune's investigation found that "State auditors identified 19 regulatory violations that they said presented a risk to patient safety at six abortion clinics that are not ambulatory surgical centers in Texas. None was severe enough to warrant financial penalties, according to the Department of State Health Services." Additionally, in the past five years, the Texas Medical board took action against only three doctors who provide abortions, and that was for administrative infractions, not providing unsafe or late-term abortions.
No one has died from complications from a legally obtained abortion in Texas since 2008, though the rate at which women die while giving birth has quadrupled in the past 15 years. Texas also has one of the highest rates of self-induced abortion in the U.S. — a much more dangerous option than going to a clinic — and if these new laws do close down many clinics, that rate is only going to get higher. (Daily Kos)
Image: Via Daily Kos.