Last Thursday, Whole Woman’s Health, an abortion clinic located in North Austin, Texas, closed its doors after a faith-based pregnancy center, Austin LifeCare, bought out their lease in an attempt to prevent abortion access. This is the second time an organization has tried to buy their lease out from under them, but previously Whole Women’s Health was able to raise the money necessary to keep the location open the first time. However, in order to extend the lease they would have to pay an additional $200,000 from what they originally were paying.
Controversies and speculation surround the lease buy out because Lion Venture Partners, the building space owners, is managing partners with Andy Schoonover, who co-founded Carrying To Term (CTT), a pro-life nonprofit that advocates for pregnant women that receive a terminal prenatal diagnosis to carry the pregnancy to term regardless, and serves as the executive director of Austin LifeCare.
The abortion clinic faces challenges to finding a new location because many properties reject leasing property to Whole Woman’s Health due to their abortion services. Amy Hagstrom Miller, founder and president of Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, stated, “The anti-abortion movement’s attacks on us continue — from the Legislature to the courts and even behind the scenes with our realtors and vendors, but we persist, and we prevail.”
Whole Woman’s Health has been offering abortion care services at the North Austin location since 2003. They work under the Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, which was a plaintiff in a Supreme Court case in 2016, that successfully challenged Texas regulations that would have closed 75 percent of abortion clinics in the state and deny millions of women access to safe, legal abortion.
Media Resources: Statesman 2/21/19; Feminist News 11/13/15