As a result of recent legislation in Texas, two abortion clinics plan to close in the state within the next three months. House Bill 2, which was passed earlier this month, raised the standard of care for abortion clinics, requiring them to become ambulatory surgical centers and to have admitting privileges in nearby hospitals. It also made post-20-week abortions illegal in the state of Texas.
Planned Parenthood plans to shut down three of its clinics soon, one of which performs abortions. Their clinic in Bryan, Texas would need to be extensively upgraded in order to become an ambulatory surgical center by September 2014, as prescribed by the law. While opponents are angered by recent legislation that will likely restrict easy access to abortion, Mary Jayne Fogerty, the Executive Director at the Dallas Pregnancy Center (DPC), agrees with the new regulations in Texas – “[Abortionists] are performing surgery, so I believe the standards must be raised – complications can and certainly do occur. Raising medical standards will protect women’s health, and I stand for women!” She made reference to Kermit Gosnell’s clinic, which was recently exposed for operating under “filthy conditions with little oversight.”
The Dallas Pregnancy Center is a Christian ministry that helps women better understand their pregnancy options in a time when they may feel pressured to get an abortion. They extend the love of Christ to women seeking help, and create a safe environment for them to share about their unexpected pregnancies – “We educate [them] on options regarding [their] pregnancy – abortion, parenting and adoption – and share the Gospel and the hope we have in Christ,” Fogerty said. The pregnancy center also conducts Bible studies and mentoring programs, and provides education for pregnancy, for childbirth, and for parenting. They offer coupons to clients who have invested time in their educational programs to shop in DPC stores for their nurseries.
An abortion clinic in Harlingen, Texas is also closing down because it does not have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic. “Surgery is serious,” said Fogerty, affirming that new legislation in the state is practical – “I would want my doctor to have visiting rights at a nearby hospital should there be complications with any procedure.”
Fogerty shared a little bit about her experiences at the pregnancy center - “It is not normal for mothers to kill their children, and [it is] a difficult concept to embrace. I also know firsthand the regret [that] many women experience following abortion. Many post-abortive women now serve as lay-counselors in pregnancy clinics, and God uses them to guide our clients in their choices from their personal experiences,” she said, citing God’s promise in Romans 8:28.
Fogerty is passionate about protecting the precious lives of children - “I believe that God creates all life and in His image … Abortion takes a life created in His image for His purposes. I also believe [that] abortion is a horrific act of violence against the unborn and their mothers,” she said.
Parts of the House Bill 2 legislation will begin to take effect this Fall, and doctors will face a $4,000 fine and Class A misdemeanor charges if they are not in compliance. Opponents of the bill have predicted that all but five abortion clinics in the state would close because of the new standards of care for women.