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National Right to Life President: Texas Abortion Bill Intended to Shutter Clinics

Andrea Grimes

The leader of a national anti-choice lobby group said Sunday that Texas' omnibus anti-abortion law was always intended to shutter legal abortion clinics.

The leader of a national anti-choice lobby group said Sunday that Texas’ omnibus anti-abortion law, which in part requires abortion providers to operate as mini-hospitals, was always intended to shutter legal abortion clinics.

The state legislators who passed HB 2 in the summer of 2013 claimed at the time that its only purpose was to raise the “standard of care” for Texans who seek legal abortion.

But on Sunday, National Right to Life President Carol Tobias said on ABC’s This Week that Texas’ new ambulatory surgical center requirement—which has been temporarily blocked and declared unconstitutional by a Republican-appointed federal judge—is about “both” restricting access to legal abortion care and “protecting women and children.”

When asked whether HB 2 was about “restricting access” or “about safety,” Tobias responded:

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“It’s about both. We want to protect unborn children from death. But we also want to protect the women who are going to be harmed by abortion. it might not be an immediate physical reaction. There are long-term physical consequences. There are long-term mental and emotional consequences to abortion. This is about protecting women and children.”

This is not the first time anti-choice lobbyists and politicians have strayed from the “standard of care” narrative surrounding HB 2 and similar TRAP (targeted regulation of abortion providers) legislation.

Texas’ Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst tweeted last summer that reducing the number of abortion providers in Texas to just five was “why” he supported the bill that would eventually be passed as HB 2.

And in July, the legislative director of the National Right to Life Committee told her organization’s annual convention attendees that legal abortion is safer than many common medical procedures and childbirth, encouraging them to focus instead on “the unborn.”

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