Eight: the number of legal abortion providers that, barring a federal court’s intervention, will remain in Texas as of Monday, September 1, when the final provision of Texas’ omnibus anti-abortion law, HB 2, goes into effect.
That’s one legal abortion provider for every one million Texans who could become pregnant, according to an estimate from the University of Texas’ Texas Policy Evaluation Project.
Those eight facilities will all be located along the I-35 and I-45 corridors, in major cities in the eastern half of the sprawling state. No legal abortion facilities will operate south or west of San Antonio.
Planned Parenthood will operate five of those eight abortion-providing ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs), in Fort Worth, Dallas, Houston, Austin, and—as part of a contract with an existing ASC while a new Planned Parenthood facility is under construction—in San Antonio.
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“Our building is still undergoing construction,” in San Antonio, Mara Posada of Planned Parenthood South Texas told Rewire. But, she said, “we’ve made arrangements with another surgery center here in San Antonio for Planned Parenthood staff to provide abortion care.”
Three more independent, non-Planned Parenthood facilities will operate in Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio.
But even the presence of eight licensed, abortion-providing ASCs does not guarantee that all eight will, at any given time, be providing legal abortion care.
Much depends on the facilities’ ability to find doctors who can obtain and maintain admitting privileges at local hospitals. Many of those hospitals face pressure to deny privileges to abortion-providing doctors from anti-choice groups, which have threatened to protest and picket outside hospitals that grant privileges to abortion providers.