Texas Abortion Providers Are “Hitting Their Limits”

Austin, TEx.—Months before Senate Act 8 (SB 8) went into effect, employees and providers at Whole Woman’s Health – a network of abortion clinics – fearfully prepared for the effects of one of the extreme anti-election laws in the United States. They spent countless hours in meetings devising strategies on how best to comply with onerous Texan law that forbids abortion once embryonic heart activity is detected, typically around six weeks after pregnancy. As more than 80 percent of pregnant women in the state that is cared for beyond this period, the law amounts to an almost complete ban on abortion.

But nothing – not even the state is about a month long Covid-19 abortion ban last year – did well prepare the staff for the deep trauma they would face indefinitely turning hundreds of patients away over the next few weeks.

“My employees are struggling with emotional and psychological exhaustion as they are forced to act as agents of the state against their will and to obey a remarkably cruel law that they fundamentally disapprove of,” said Amy Hagstrom Miller, president and founder of Whole Woman’s Health. “This law takes an enormous toll on them – they face trauma every day.”

Clinic staff find themselves on the other end of understandably angry and excruciating daily calls from patients who are prevented in their home state from receiving the timely care they need. Whole Woman’s also has to withstand the despair of some patients who beg clinic staff to meet them in the parking lot after the six-week mark for abortion pills or an after-hours procedure. The staff doesn’t give in; However, many reach their emotional limits.

“Our employees are compassionate people, but the law requires them to constantly say ‘no’ to patients – and they reach their limits,” said Hagstrom Miller. “I’ve heard some say, ‘I’ve said’ No’s as much as possible, I don’t know how much I can take. ‘”

In force since September 1st because The US Supreme Court refused to intervene, SB 8 has forced the cessation of most abortion treatments in the country’s second largest state, and has urged pregnant people to venture out of state for care – that is, only if they can find the resources – or to have unplanned pregnancies by End.

In a damning judgment dated October 6, US Judge Robert Pitman paused SB 8 in response to a legal challenge from the US Department of Justice and held the law for “offensive withdrawal“Constitutional Rights. The largely conservative Fifth District Court of Appeal appeasing Texas officials reinstated the law just two days later. The dizzying legal volley as the bill goes through the courts is adding to the uncertainty and fear of patients, providers and clinic staff.

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