POSTED: Thursday, August 1, 2013 - 5:10pm
UPDATED: Friday, August 2, 2013 - 11:44am
Lufkin, Texas (KETK) —
With the signing of the abortion bill by Governor Rick Perry on Thursday, July 18, Planned Parenthood centers immediately began closing its doors in Texas towns.
The measure, signed by Perry, bans abortions past 20 weeks of gestation, mandates abortion clinics become ambulatory surgical centers, tightens usage guidelines for the drug RU486 and requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic at which they're providing such services.
As a result of House Bill 2, starting Thursday, Lufkin, Huntsville and Bryan will no longer have a community Planned Parenthood location.
The following statement was released today by the Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast:
“It is a sad day for women’s health in Southeast Texas. Today, after almost 40 years of proudly caring for women and men in the Southeast Texas area, we are permanently closing three of our locations in Bryan, Huntsville and Lufkin. Planned Parenthood explored every option to continue services in this area, but due to the combined impact of years of drastic budget cuts to women’s health care services and the dismantling of the successful Women’s Health Program, we have made the sad and difficult decision to close. It is a travesty that Texas politicians are stripping healthcare from women across the state, harming lives and unraveling the health care safety net that has taken decades to build. The alarming reality is that most of these women in these undeserved areas will be left with no real options for getting the basic, preventive health care they need. For decades they have relied on their local Planned Parenthood heath center for nonjudgmental, confidential and high-quality care. Ensuring Texas women have access to the care they need to stay healthy, especially women in rural and underserved areas, goes to the heart of our mission. We are making every effort to provide resources for our patients faced with health center closings and we encourage our patients to continue getting the health care they need. Planned Parenthood will maintain patient’s confidential medical records, and patients will be able to access their health records by requesting them or having them released to another location. Planned Parenthood is grateful to the Bryan, Huntsville, and Lufkin communities for their decades of support and determination to ensure that high quality health care is accessible to all. We remain committed to continuing to provide women with the health care they have trusted from us for more than 75 years. As voices in support of women's health continue to grow within the state and as the chorus of alarmed people nationwide focus their attention on Texas politicians, Planned Parenthood will continue to work strongly to eliminate these politicized barriers and to stand up for women in Texas, no matter what.”