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Local Abortion Clinics Plan Next Move

(credit: CBS 11)

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - The Routh Street Women's Clinic off the North Central Expressway is one of six licensed abortion facilities in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

As Governor Rick Perry today signed abortion reform into law, a clinic administrator, who refused to give her name, spoke to CBS 11 on the phone.

"We're devastated, just like everyone else," she said.

If and when the bill takes effect, it would require abortion clinics to meet the same standard as ambulatory surgical centers.

The Routh Street clinic, which serves at least 4,000 patients a year, would close, unable to afford $3 million dollar in necessary upgrades, said the administrator.

Several miles away, the Southwestern Women's Surgery Center already operates as an ambulatory surgical center.

Administrator Tenesha Duncan said it's the only abortion clinic in Dallas to do so, and she expects it would be the only clinic here in Dallas to stay open.

"We'll do as best we can to help as many women as possible," said Duncan, but she worries the clinic won't be able to meet the surge in demand.

State Representative Phil King, of Weatherford, said he believes claims of abortion clinics closing have been highly exaggerated.

"Are they going to have to spend some money? Yea, they're going to have to spend some money. But do you really want people going to have a very serious procedure that is effectively nothing more than a doctor's office?" he said.

King said some pro-life groups, in fact, felt the abortion bill the governor signed, HB2, didn't go far enough.

As part of a compromise with those groups, today he filed a new bill to outlaw the abortion of any fetus with a heartbeat, in the event Roe v. Wade is overturned.

King said there were pro-life advocates who wanted that provision in the original bill.

"I felt it would be confusing the process at that point. We had an agreement between the House and Senate and we didn't want to upset that balance in the bill. So the thought was, 'Okay, we'll pass the bill before it, and we'll file this bill as something the legislators can look at and consider in the future'."

With two weeks left in the session, King said there is a zero percent chance of the bill passing this year.

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