“If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them.” – Dalai Lama
We wondered what the fallout would be. We were warned.
I wrote in July that the threat of a wire coat hanger had reappeared. Hyperbolic? Perhaps at the time but in retrospect I think not shrill enough. Senator Davis’s filibuster and the attempts by Senators Watson and Van Putte to stop the vote on SB5 had only delayed the inevitable; Gov. Perry rushed to call a second session where HB2 (formerly SB5) was introduced early to thwart another filibuster. It passed and Perry signed it with a flourish of self-righteous rhetoric. And while I had anticipated that the conservative judges of the Texas 5th Circuit Court would uphold the statute, I also assumed a delay in implementation as the law made its way to the Supreme Court. Planned Parenthood (in concert with several other pro-choice groups) had already announced that it would contest HB2 as unconstitutional: an undue burden on Texas women. But three judges on the 5th Circuit Court overruled an injunction and allowed the law to go into effect while its constitutional basis was still being debated.
The initial result: 13 of 36 clinics have closed due to the hospital admitting requirement and more (perhaps as many as 37 of the 42 clinics that provide abortions in Texas) will be forced to close once the ambulatory requirements kick in on Sept. 1 (there are only 5 clinics in the state that meet the surgical center parameters).