Planned Parenthood clinic
DALLAS -— Planned Parenthood representatives are speaking out about a new $2.3 million facility in the works across from Charlton Methodist Hospital.
“We have made a commitment to the women of the state of Texas that we are providing care no matter what. We are just doing what we need to do to fulfill that promise,” said Kelly Hart, the senior director of government relations for Planned Parenthood.
News of the new facility comes about six weeks before the Texas House Bill 2 takes full effect. HB2, signed by Governor Rick Perry in 2013, tightened the restrictions on abortion providers.
The law goes into effect in phases. A handful of clinics have already closed when doctors were unable to secure admitting privileges at local hospitals.
The next phase goes into effect in September; it will require all abortion facilities to also qualify as ambulatory surgical centers. Essentially, a facility that can provide surgery that does not require an overnight stay at a hospital.
“This is just another example of the lack of care that is given to women’s ability to make their own medical decisions and get access to the health care they need,” Hart said.
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, of the 27 licensed abortion facilities in the state, seven are qualified as ambulatory surgical centers. The new Planned Parenthood facility was licensed as an ASC on Friday.
It's a costly move that many abortion providers across Texas couldn’t do, and those have already closed.
Proponents of HB2 say the bill was drafted to make abortion safer and see the closure of the clinics as a step in the right direction.
“By no means is it ending abortion - abortion is still available all over the state of Texas - it is reducing the number of abortion facilities because they can’t meet the standards,” said Karen Garnett of the Catholic Pro-Life Committee.
Planned Parenthood said as soon they knew the tighter regulations were on the way, they reached out to private donors and have already raised $6 million to cover the cost of the new facility.