Austin abortion clinic is first to reopen since Supreme Court ruling


Highlights

Whole Woman’s Health clinic closed its flagship location in Austin in 2013.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the clinic’s favor in a lawsuit over the state’s restrictive abortion law.

The law had closed more than half of the state’s abortion clinics.

Whole Woman’s Health, the abortion clinic that sued the state of Texas over 2013 abortion restrictions and won at the U.S. Supreme Court last year, will reopen its Austin location next month.

The clinic, in Northeast Austin, had closed in 2013 after then-Gov. Rick Perry signed a law that required abortions to be performed in hospital-like surgical centers and that doctors have admitting privileges in nearby hospitals. Whole Woman’s Health challenged those provisions of the law on the grounds that they restricted access to the procedure. Supreme Court justices agreed in a ruling last June.

While the law was being contested in court, more than half of the state’s 41 abortion clinics closed.

“When you close down a clinic, you’re laying off staff, you’re selling equipment, you’re completely getting rid of everything. What we’ve had to do is basically start over,” said Fatimah Gifford, vice president of communications for Whole Woman’s Health.

READ: Texas lawmaker files bill to satirize restrictive abortion laws

Gifford said the Austin location, which is the flagship for the clinic’s seven facilities, will start serving patients in the next three to four weeks.

Whole Woman’s Health will be the first clinic to reopen since the ruling.

Planned Parenthood and Austin Women’s Health Center also provide abortions in Austin.

“When the politically motivated legislature forced the Whole Woman’s Health in District 4 to close, our community suffered a loss. With the reopening of the Austin Whole Woman’s Health clinic, the residents of North Austin and beyond will have expanded access to safe, legal abortion care right here in our community,” Austin Council Member Greg Casar said in a statement.



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