Texas women drive for hours, flood clinics in Oklahoma, Louisiana, Kansas for abortions

According to Communications Director Zack Gingrich-Gaylord from The Trust Women Clinic in Oklahoma City, OK, since SB-8 took effect, their patient numbers have nearly doubled. Gingrich-Gaylord told KFOR-4 in Oklahoma that patients come from places as far south as Galveston or Corpus Christi, Texas. The clinic has been so overwhelmed that they suggest that patients seeking abortions go to Wichita, Kansas.

“It’s not good,” said Gingrich-Gaylord. “These are patients who would otherwise seek care in their own community. The surrounding states aren’t that big, and they don’t have a lot of clinics. This therefore creates significant pressure on the states neighboring Texas. “

Abbott has had the right to abortion in his sights for some time. A year and a half ago, he made abortions essentially impossible by viewing them as non-essential medical procedures, which were put on hold during COVID-19.

Texas women are being left behind. The New York Times reports that half of the women at a clinic in Shreveport, Louisiana, and about 19% of family planning patients in Little Rock, Arkansas, are all from Texas. Meetings are now scheduled for mid-October.

The worst part is that, as bad as it is that women are forced to leave their communities for medical care, at least one state may soon follow Texas. Oklahoma has its own pro-life abortion law (HB 2441) due to go into effect Nov. 1, which could ban abortion if a fetal heartbeat is detected.

The truth is, many women can’t just get in their cars and drive to another state to have an abortion, and lawmakers like Abbott know this.

“We know this from experience. Those who can afford will be able to go elsewhere, and the majority will be forced into parenthood, ”said Sean Mehl, associate director of clinical services at Whole Woman’s Health in Fort Worth. The New Yorker.

There is a grain of hope regarding Texas law. On October 1, opponents will have the opportunity to implore a judge to suspend it, and the The US Supreme Court can still rule on SB-8, perhaps even finding it unconstitutional. However, in a deeply troubling reality, her decision to allow the law to take effect means clinics will close and thousands of Texas women will not be able to access abortions, including pregnancies resulting from rape or incest.

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