With Texas on the verge of shutting down all but 8 of the state’s abortion clinics, activists are taking up a new method to increase access to clinics: bringing women across state lines.
Texas abortion clinics have been under attack in recent years, significantly reducing women’s access to comprehensive reproductive health care, largely due to HB 2, the Texas omnibus anti-abortion law that has forced 80 percent of abortion clinics in the state to close. As a result, abortion rights advocates are increasingly helping women seeking an abortion travel from Texas to neighboring New Mexico.
“For a long time I’d had my eye on New Mexico,” says Amy Hagstrom Miller, the chief executive officer of Whole Woman’s Health. Although the closing of abortion clinics is far more common than the opening of new clinics, Whole Woman’s Health successfully opened a clinic in Las Cruces, New Mexico last fall, just 50 miles away from El Paso, Texas. “Going into Las Cruces felt like a really smart thing to do on behalf of the women of west Texas and south Texas so that they could have an option no matter what,” Hagstrom Miller continued.
Organizations to help women afford the costs of abortion in Texas have also been in response to HB2. Some of them, such as Fund Texas Choice, are dedicated entirely to funding travel costs for women seeking an abortion in Texas. The organization funds bus or airline tickets, hotel stays, and expects the demand for their services to go up in the near future.