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Texas Women Drive Hours For Abortion After New Law | Nationwide

Shreveport, Louisiana (AP) — A 33-year-old Texas woman drove alone for four hours overnight to go to an abortion clinic in Louisiana for consultation. She initially planned to sleep in the car, but advocacy groups helped arrange the hotel room.

She is single and has three children between the ages of five and thirteen, and she was worried that adding a baby now would cost her three children time, food, money and space. She said she had no work and would probably have been looking for another way to end her pregnancy without the help of a group that provided a safe abortion.

“If you can’t get rid of the baby, what do you do next? You try to get rid of it yourself. So I’m thinking:’What can I do? Get rid of this baby or have an abortion. What home remedies I can do to get rid of or have an abortion? ”And it shouldn’t be like that. I shouldn’t have to do that. I don’t have to think that way, I feel that way, none of them.

“We have to ask. This needs to be changed. It’s a mistake.”

She was one of more than 12 women who arrived Saturday at Hope Medical Group For Women, a one-story brick building with covered windows just south of downtown Shreveport. Some people came alone. Others were accompanied by friends and partners. Some people brought their children because they couldn’t raise their children.

Everyone was trying to end their pregnancy, most from nearby Texas. The most restrictive abortion law in the country It is still valid.It bans abortion When heart activity is detected, About 6 weeks later, before knowing that many women are pregnant. Rape and incest are no exception.As a result, the abortion clinic The surrounding states are flooded With a Texas woman.

The women agreed to speak to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity so that they could speak openly about their experience.

Like many others, a 33-year-old Texas mother said she tried to plan an abortion near her home, but it was too far away. By the time she arrived at the clinic for an abortion on Saturday, she had just passed nine weeks and had to undergo a surgical abortion instead of using medication. She said the test was angry with Texas politicians who passed the law.

“If I had to keep this baby, it’s not that I don’t know what happened. I was probably crazy, and they don’t understand it,” she said. , Her voice was full of emotions.

A 25-year-old woman traveled 70 miles south of Texarkana on the Texas-Arkansas border. She said she knew that five weeks had already passed before she realized she was pregnant and that it was impossible to schedule the two visits she needed at a Texas clinic. By the time she was able to make an appointment in Shreveport, her pregnancy had hardly progressed to a drug abortion.

“Fortunately, I knew when I had surgery because I was still able to take the pill instead of surgery,” she said.

While she was in the clinic, her husband waited for hours in the car with her little son, who was a toddler and still breastfeeding. They had no one to see him.

Texas law has been going back and forth between courts for weeks. The Biden administration again requested the court to suspend it on Monday. That effort was followed by a ferocious lower court ruling that created a short 48-hour window in which Texas abortion donors were in a hurry to bring patients back last week, and the Federal Court of Appeals reinstated the law3. I came a day later.

The law-fueled anti-abortion campaign aims to reach the US Supreme Court. There, anti-abortionists say that a conservative coalition formed under President Donald Trump will end the constitutional right to abortion established by the groundbreaking 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. I want it.

When most women entered the clinic parking lot, they met anti-abortion activists, primarily from eastern Texas. They travel to Shreveport on a regular basis.

John Powers, 44, a machinist in Jacksonville, Texas, said he usually drives twice a month for almost two hours to get women to change their minds. rice field. He says he has persuaded two women not to have an abortion during the 13 years of protesting outside the clinic. This is called “turnaround”.

“I don’t say it happens often,” said Powers, who has six children and supports legislation that makes it difficult for women to have an abortion. Now you may grow up, get married, have your own children, go to school, and become a journalist. It’s worth it, and it’s easily worth it to me. “

Upon entering the clinic, women are greeted by staff who provide peace of mind and understanding. When she escorted her behind the clinic, the clinic director placed her arm around a woman. The TV in the corner of the waiting room is tuned for the Black Entertainment TV. A separate “chill room” with soft music and a large leather sofa provides the patient with the opportunity to rest before surgery.

Much of the story of women is a nuisance to Kathaleen Pittman, the clinic’s administrator who started working at an abortion clinic 30 years ago. She recently said she had spoken to a Texas mother attempting an abortion for her 13-year-old daughter who had been sexually assaulted.

“She’s a kid. She doesn’t have to go out for hours to get here. It’s absolutely painful,” Pittman said.

Before Texas law came into force, Pittman said about 20% of clients were from Texas, mostly in the eastern part of the state, with about 1.5 million people in Shreveport in a region of three states called Ark Latex. close. At its geographical center. Today, that number is approaching 60%, with women hundreds of miles away from Austin, Houston, or San Antonio.

According to the latest data available from the Guttmacher Institute, a research institute that supports abortion rights, there were approximately 55,440 abortions in Texas in 2017, some of which were women outside the state. It may have been. Guttmacher reports that abortions in Texas account for more than 6% of all abortions in the United States.

An estimated 1,000 women seek abortion each week in Texas, reporting overwhelming clinics in nearby states.

About 11 patients from Texas were seen in August at the Trustwoman Clinic in Oklahoma City, about a three-hour drive from Dallas Fort Worth. In September, after Texas law came into force, the number surged to 110 and clinic phones were ringing constantly, said Rebecca Tong, co-senior director of Trust Women, who also runs the clinic in Wichita, Kansas. I am.

“Many of them literally drive through overnight and are about to show up for booking at 8am without a break,” says Tong. I think I can go home soon. “

Texas law and the difficulty of scheduling out-of-state appointments also force women to wait longer.

The legislatures of several states surrounding Texas want to implement similar legislation to prevent most abortions. In Oklahoma, Republican Senator Julie Daniels has created or sponsored four separate measures to further limit this practice. All four laws Being challenged In court.

When asked to answer a Texas woman, Daniels said her calculations weren’t complicated.

“Calculus is straightforward. The foetation is a child. It’s life. It’s simple, so it’s not more complicated,” she said.

Texas Women Drive Hours For Abortion After New Law | Nationwide

Source link Texas Women Drive Hours For Abortion After New Law | Nationwide

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