Women's clinics may reopen after Supreme Court ruling

Women's clinics may reopen after Supreme Court ruling
Former Planned Parenthood in Odessa. (Source: KWES)
Former Planned Parenthood in Odessa. (Source: KWES)

MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - It was one of the most controversial topics when many abortion clinics in Texas closed after Texas passed a law on abortion clinic restrictions. The Supreme Court voted 5-3 in favor of those clinics Monday. That means the possible reopening of some clinics here in the Permian Basin.

The ruling said the number of facilities dropped when the law, or House Bill 2 was passed in 2013. About 40 women's clinics throughout the state were closed. The drop reduced the number to under 20 practices that stayed open.
Whole Women's Health sued the state arguing House Bill 2 placed an undue burden on abortion access.

Planned Parenthood in Odessa and Midland closed after House Bill 2 was passed. The Life Center in Midland is one of the organizations to offer alternatives to abortion. They said this is not a pro-life or pro-choice issue.

"This is just an issue of keeping women safe and healthy during a surgical procedure," said Executive Director Judy Rouse with The Life Center in Midland.

The ruling said the closure of many clinics affected women's access to them, especially those who lived hundreds of miles away from a women's clinic.

It said the percentage of women who lived 100 miles away from a clinic increased by 150%, women who lived 150 miles away increased by 350% and those who lived 200 miles away increased by 2,800%.

The District Court said a licensed abortion clinic would have to meet surgical-center requirements under Texas law. Women in the areas such as the Rio Grande Valley, El Paso and West Texas who were seeking an abortion were out of luck as many clinics closed after the law was signed.

State Representative Brooks Landgraf of Odessa issued a statement stating, "The Supreme Court has overreached in its ruling and has overturned a Texas law passed by elected legislators speaking for an overwhelming majority of Texans, who support the law. I will continue my efforts in the Texas House of Representatives to protect the health and safety of Texas women and promote the sanctity of human life."

The new rule is opening doors to potential women's clinics in the Permian Basin. No exact dates are set yet.

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